From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Born in Plainfield, N. J., 31 May 1916, John Drayton Baker enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1941. He was appointed Naval Aviator 28 August 1941 and commissioned Ensign 18 September 1941. Ensign Baker was reported missing in action during the Battle of the Coral Sea, 7 May 1942 and officially declared dead 8 May 1943. For his gallantry and services Ensign Baker received the Navy Cross.

(DE-190: dp. 1240; l. 308'; b. 38'8"; dr. 11'8" s. 21 k.: cpl. 188; a. 3 3", 3 21" TT.; cl. Cannon)

Baker (DE-190) was launched 28 November 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newark, N. J.; sponsored by Mrs. Margaret Baker, mother of Ensign Baker; and commissioned 23 December 1943, Lieutenant Commander L. B. Lockwood, USNR, in command.

Reporting to the Atlantic Fleet, Baker was assigned to Escort Division 48 and escorted two trans-Atlantic convoys to North Africa (13 February-24 March and 12 April-30 May 1844).

Between 20 June 1944 and 9 May 1945 she served with several hunter-killer task groups. On 5 July 1944 while operating with TG 22.10 in 4218' N., 5949' W., she delivered several depth charge attacks which forced the German submarine U-233 to surface. All Baker's guns opened fire, scoring several hits, and then she laid a 13-charge shallow pattern ahead of the submarine who rode squarely into the middle of the detonation. The sub's crew abandoned her just before Thomas (DE-102) rammed and sank her. Thirty-one survivors of the sub's crew were picked up and transferred to Card (CVE-11).

From May until October 1945 Baker operated out of Quonset Point, R. I., as a plane guard during carrier qualifications. During November and part of December she escorted the captured German submarine U-977 to various eastern ports as a part of a Victory Loan drive. Baker went out of commission in reserve 4 March 1948 and was transferred to France under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program 29 March 1952.

Baker received one battle star for her action with U-233.