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First Name: Willy

Last Name: Baker

Birthplace: Buffalo, TN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating: Machinery Repairman Chief Petty Officer

Middle Name: Scott

Date of Birth: 02 April 1928

Date of Death: 15 November 1966

Rank or Rate: Chief Petty Officer

Years Served:
Willy Scott Baker

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


On 15 November 1966, Machinery Repairman Chief Petty Officer Willy Scott Baker was serving with PCF-77, PCFDIV 102, TF 115, USNAVFORV in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam.

On that day, while attempting to cross the bar and enter Hue Harbor in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam, Patrol Craft Fast 22 (PCF-22) also known as a Swift Boat, lost one man overboard. At the time of the incident, PCF-77 was outside the surf line, standing by to assist PCF-22 in rescue operations as required. The Officer-in-Charge of PCF-77, LTJG David G. Wilbourne, had previously ordered all hands into lifejackets, and was at the helm. About 20 seconds after the overboard man was reported safely picked up and back on PCF-22, a wave, estimated to be 25 to 30 feet high, lifted the stern of PCF-77 and drove the bow into the trough. The pilot house almost immediately filled with water, although all doors and windows had been secured on the orders of LTJG Wilbourne. The survivors exited through the port pilot house door, which had sprung. As the boat rapidly filled, LTJG Wilbourne was responsible for rescuing one man from the stricken craft and MRC Willy Baker, a qualified diver, was last seen entering the after compartment where RM3 Bruce A. Timmons was believed to be trapped. One and one-half minutes after upending, PCF- 77 sank, keel up in 13 feet of water. Helicopters in the area picked up seven people in the water. RM3 Bruce A. Timmons, who was believed to be below decks at the time the boat capsized, was not recovered, and was listed as missing, presumed dead. Two of those picked up by the helicopter, MRC Willy S. Baker and BM3 Harry G. Brock were classified as killed by drowning. Security elements were provided by the Marine Corps, and the salvage master of Harbor Clearance Unit One was dispatched to the scene. The bow section of PCF-77 was washed ashore 2500 yards north of the Hue River mouth. The rest of the boat broke up, and HCU-1 salvage master reported that a salvage attempt could not be effected. MRC Willy Scott Baker was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.


Navy and Marine Corps Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal

Navy and Marine Corps Medal Citation (Synopsis)

Machinery Repairman Chief Willy Scott Baker, United States Navy, was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal (Posthumously) for heroism while helping his shipmates escape from capsized Patrol Craft Fast SEVENTY-SEVEN (PCF-77), at the entrance of Thuan An River at Hue, Republic of Vietnam, on 15 November 1966.


The name Willy S Baker is inscribed on Panel 12E Line 72 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.


Machinery Repairman Chief Petty Officer Willy Scott Baker is buried at Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi, TX.


Honoree ID: 3405   Created by: MHOH




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