Relating to
Ancil D. Baker
30 November 1912 — And still going strong

Page 1 of 3 Pages

by Chuck Stone, Web Site Manager

While I was flying RB-29 missions for the 91st SRS, out of Yokota Air Base, in 1953 and 1954, Ancil Baker was a member of the management staff for the 98th Bomb Wing, located at the same base. We returned to the U.S. about the same time where we were both assigned to the 98th Bomb Wing at Lincoln AFB, Nebraska, where we converted to a B-47/KC-97 SAC operation. Fairly early in this process, Colonel Baker needed a co-pilot to fly with him on an administrative trip to the west coast in a B-25. Having previous experience as a flight instructor in the B-25, I was selected to accompany him on this trip.

As the flight progressed, I realized that Colonel Baker had a complete terrain layout map printed in his remarkable memory. It seemed he knew every mountain, every valley and every other check-point along the way. I also realized that I was flying with a man who had been an active Army Air Corps pilot while I was still in junior and senior high school. He was one of the role models I had chosen while reading every aviation magazine I could lay hands on as a youth. From that point on, I knew that here was a man that I wanted to learn more about, when the opportunity presented itself. In the years that followed, our mutual schedules did not permit me to pursue the subject. But, now, in these later years, I have had the opportunity to ask him for his story. He was kind enough to share it, and I offer it to you here, in brief quotations directly from the source. I must say, his story is as moving and meaningful, today, as I imagined it to be as a youth.

Ancil D. Baker

“I don't know about this span of my remarkable life, to which you refer, but I must have been born at the right time, because there aren't many places where I haven't been, there isn't much  that I haven't done and there isn't much that I haven't seen.

“Airplanes with open cockpits, fixed landing gear and tail skids are today marvels of flight.

“My first documented ancestor, Captain John Baker was an Indian fighter who built Fort Baker on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River just south of Youngstown.”

“My father homesteaded on Oklahoma's Cherokee Strip nine miles west of the town of Fairview. I was born there on the last day of November, 1912. Earlier that same year New Mexico and Arizona had become our forty-seventh and forty-eighth states.

“In the spring of 1914 my father became ill and elected to move the family to Estherville, Iowa where his brother and half brother lived. He lived only about a month longer.

“I remember Armistice Day and my teacher of the first and second grades. Grades three through eight were spent in Humboldt, Iowa.

“At age fifteen I drove my mother in a Model T Ford back to Fairview, Oklahoma, where a sister and two of her brothers lived.”

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Historic illustration credits and appreciation go to
Gil Walker

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