David Hodge Baker – Major General, United States Air Force

From a contemporary press report:

David H. Baker, age 95, an Air Force Major General who served during World War II and the Korean War and retired in 1957, died peacefully in his sleep February 3, 2003 in Naples, Florida.

General Baker was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1907, the son of Frederick and Florence Baker. He was a graduate of Richmond Hill High School in New York City (1926), West Point Military Academy (1930), The Air Corps Advanced Flying School, Kelly Field, TX (1931), The Harvard University School of Business (1941), and The National War College (1948).

General Baker had a long and distinguished career serving his country. During World War II, General Baker spent four years serving in both England and France. He served as the Deputy Commanding Officer and later Commanding Officer of the Ninth Air Force Service Command. During this assignment, he participated in all campaigns until the German surrender. General Baker witnessed the liberation of the first concentration camps and was present at the Nuremberg trials.

He was a command pilot who was awarded the Legion of Merit with on Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star, Croix de Guerre with Palm, Legion of Honor Decree of Provost Government of France, Luxembourg Croix de Guerre, Order of Merit of Adolphe of Nassau, Degree of Commander with Grand Cross, Belgium Order of Leopold with Palm, Most Excellent Order of Britain, Empire Degree of Honorary Officer, Polish Order of Polonia Festituta (Commander Class), American Theatre Ribbon and the Army Commendation Ribbon.

After World War II, General Baker had a number of assignments including serving as a member of the operations and training staff at the National War College, a Senior Air Force Officer with Joint Logistics Plans Group in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Commanding Officer at Ladd Air Force Base in Alaska, Comptroller for the Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, and retiring as the Director of Procurement and Production for the US Air Force.

After retirement, General Baker served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Capital Airlines, which merged with United Airlines. Additional positions held by General Baker in civilian life included Vice President of International Operations for Sperry Rand Corporation and Director of the Office of Export Development for the US Department of Commerce.

General Baker was a member of Moorings Presbyterian Church and Royal Poinciana Country Club. He was a strong supporter of Naples Community Hospital and the Neighborhood Health Clinic of Naples. 

Survivors include his son, David H. Baker Jr. of the Cayman Islands; granddaughter, Meg Mason and her husband, Terry, of Centreville, Virginia; great-grandchildren, Amanda and Stephen Mason of Centreville, Virginia; niece, Betty Scheels of Las Vegas, Nevada and a nephew, Pat Bryan and his wife, Joan, of Ponte Vedra, Florida. His beloved wife, Shirley, and two sisters, Elizabeth Bryan and Myrtle Millet, predeceased General Baker.

He will be remembered by many for his integrity, humility, and generosity. He was devoted to his wife, loved ones, country, and community.

A memorial service will be held at the Moorings Presbyterian Church, 791 Harbour Dr., Naples, Florida, on Monday, February 10, 2003 at 11 a.m. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Moorings Presbyterian Church, North Collier Hospital Center for Women and Children “The Birth Place” or the charity of your choice.

Courtesy of the United States Air Force

Retired July 31, 1957 

David Hodge Baker was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1907. After graduating from high school at Richmond Hill, New York, in 1926, he entered the U.S. Military Academy from which he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps June 12, 1930. The following September he was detailed to the Air Corps and assigned to flying school.

Upon graduation from the Air Corps Primary and Advanced Flying Schools in March 1932, General Baker was rated a pilot and transferred to the Air Corps.

His first assignment was at Mitchel Field, New York, where he served until April 1935, when he was transferred to the Panama Canal Department. In 1937, he was assigned at Bolling Field, D.C., where he served with the 14th Air Base Squadron.

In 1939, General Baker entered the Harvard Graduate School of Business, where he studied industrial management for two years. He then became chief of the Accounting Branch at Wright Field, Ohio. He went to England in August 1942, as executive of the Plans Section of the Eighth Air Force Service Command, and the following December was named chief of the Plans Division of that command. In October 1943, he was appointed deputy commander of the Ninth Air Force Service Command in that theater. From March to May 1946, he was commander after which he resumed his position as deputy commander.

General Baker, in September 1946, was assigned as operations and training staff officer at the National War College. He was appointed in June 1948, a member of the Joint Logistics Plans Group in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In March 1950, he assumed command of the 5001st Composite Wing at Ladd Air Force Base, Alaska.

In October 1951, General Baker became director of command support at Air Materiel Command headquarters, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In March 1952, he was named comptroller of Air Materiel Command and in August 1953, he became director, Procurement and Production, at that headquarters.

General Baker retired from active military service on July 31, 1957.

General Baker has been awarded the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and the Bronze Star Medal. His foreign decorations include the French Croix de Guerre with Palm and the Legion of Honor, the Luxembourg Croix de Guerre, the Belgium Order of Leopold with Palm and Croix de Guerre with Palm, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and the Polish Order of Polonia Restituta. He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.


He was promoted to first lieutenant (temporary) May 2, 1935; to first lieutenant (permanent) Aug. 1, 1935; to captain (permanent) June 12,1940; to major (temporary) July 15, 1941; to lieutenant colonel (temporary) Jan. 5, 1942; to colonel (temporary) March 1, 1942; to major (permanent) June 12, 1947; to colonel (permanent) April
2, 1948; to brigadier general {temporary) Aug. 11, 1950; to major general (temporary) Sept. 25, 1952; to brigadier general (permanent) April 7, 1954; to major general (permanent) Oct. 24, 1956.

BAKER, SHIRLEY A. Schrecengost

Age 68, peacefully in Naples, Florida, on Friday, November 19, 1999, with her beloved husband, General David H. Baker (Ret.) at her side.

Shirley was born in Dayton, Pennsylvania on March 4, 1931, a daughter of the late W. Miles and V. Irene (Bowser) Schrecengost. She was a resident of the Washington, D.C. area for many years, where she was the area group manager of Flight Attendants for United Airlines in Washington, D.C. 

Shirley and her beloved husband, General David H. Baker (Ret.) moved to Naples, Florida, 22 years ago. She was a member of the Moorings Presbyterian Church of Naples, Naples Garden Club, Naples Community Hospital Auxiliary, Royal Poinciana Country Club and ”Clipped Wings” (United Airlines Retired Flight Attendants).

Besides her husband, she is survived by one stepson, David H. Baker Jr. of the Cayman Islands; one brother, Miles Schrecengost of Templeton, Pennsylvania; four sisters, LaRue Yingling of Lehigh Acres, Florieda, Velma Walker of Kittanning, Pennsylvania, Ruby (John) Clever of Monroeville, Pennsylvania and LaWave (Laird) Cogley of Windham, Ohio. She is also survived by one granddaughter, Meg Mason of Arlington, Virginia, and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by one brother and two sisters.

Interment will take place in Arlington Ntional Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday, November 30, 1999 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Moorings Presbyterian Church, 791 Harbour Dr., Naples, Florida 34103 or to the Naples Garden Club, 1051 5th Ave., South, Naples, Florida 34102.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 03/04/1932
  • DATE OF DEATH: 11/19/1999


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 12/31/1907
  • DATE OF DEATH: 02/03/2003


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