Segment 3


Baker stayed at Geiger Airfield until October 1942 when they went back to Fort Huachuca, Arizona. One day he was called up to regimental headquarters. He thought he was in trouble. Baker reported to a colonel there and told Baker to sign some papers. Baker didn't even read them and the colonel told him he was going to OCS. He didn't want to go to OCS but ended up there at Fort Benning, Georgia. He did 13 weeks of training there to become a 2nd Lt. One soldier there asked why they were making so many 2nd Lieutenants. The officer answered "because 2nd Lieutenants are expendable." January 11, 1943 Baker became a 2nd Lieutenant. At this time the 92nd Infantry Division was being activated and he was assigned to that unit. The division was activated at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, Fort Dix, New Jersey and Fort Huachuca, Arizona. All regiments came together between March and May 1944. The rumor was they were going overseas. One day off the 2nd Lieutenants were called to the division headquarters and told they were going overseas. The Chief of Staff there said "Now all the white boys are going overseas and getting killed..." [Annotator's Note: Baker becomes emotional for a minute] "... now it's time for the black boys to go get killed." The way it was said was wrong he believes. Baker told himself he was going to go overseas and not get killed. That was their initiation into war. It was ironic that one of their unit's first casualties was that Chief of Staff of the 92nd Division. Baker had to take a patrol out to find his body. In another ironic event a few days later the Chief of Engineers got killed.


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