Reg had been in the RAF for 19
months when war was declared. As a second pilot on a
210 Squadron Sunderland had been carrying out his squadron duties with his crew on
escort duty to shipping. (Pembroke) Sunderland
Flying boat he undertook convoy patrols. His first three operations
all involved contact with U-boats and attacks were made with no
visible signs of success.
The harsh realities of war were
soon to be experienced with the sad loss of his plane and crew
whilst he remained on shore.
[Go to 1939]
'The luckiest man alive' - Reg has
his first success against a U-boat.
For three attacks in 90
seconds using his unwieldy Sunderland flying boat as if it was a
nimble fighter he earns the DFC.
A second and third U-boat are added
to his tally soon after.
Reg marries Norma in September
[click here to go to 1940]
Early in the year another U-boat
sunk, and Reg pays a visit to Buckingham Palace to collect his DFC.
A navigational training course in
Canada starts Reg's conversion to a fighter pilot .
[click here to go to 1941]
A strange year
for Reg. He is posted to 240 Squadron and en-route for
India he crashes his plane in Malta. Uninjured he is
'pretty badly shaken up' and comes off flying duties. His
training as a navigation specialist is put to use in a varied
number of duties initially in Malta and then the UK. His
daughter Helen is born in November and he returns to fighter
training at the end of the year
[click here to go to 1942]
his refresher training and joins 182 Squadron flying Typhoons.
A busy 3 months and Reg is wounded in an attack in France. In
June Reg is appointed Commanding Officer of 283 Squadron and
settles into a relentless attack on enemy shipping and occupied
northern France. He is awarded a Bar to his DFC.
[click here to go to 1943]
appointed Wing Commander (flying) 193 Squadron. He leads many
attacks into France determined to deplete the enemy air force
prior to the invasion. On D-Day and the following days
his wing roamed inland of the beach heads attacking gun
positions and MT, bombing troop concentrations in woods and
villages, bombing enemy HQs, and carrying out armed recces.
[click here to go to 1944]
Ten days after
D-Day, on a mission over Normandy, Reggie Baker's aircraft was
hit by flak and whilst plummeting to crash to earth he orders
his Wing to fly away from the danger.
‘Hello Carefree and Vampire aircraft,
Port 180 – Lochinvar – out.’
posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
[click here to go to
16 June 1944]
page last updated:Monday 22 December 2008