Segment 8


Baker reviews details of his Medal of Honor actions in Italy on April 5th, 1945. He had a big, strong BAR [Annotator's Note: Browning Automatic Rifle] man who he asked to cover him during a firefight with the Germans. He was trying to get close enough to throw grenades. They did this twice. At this point he had six men with him. Four of his men evacuated three wounded. The rest were dead. Baker was wearing a compass around his belt that was hit by shrapnel and therefore didn't hurt him. All of this happened during the morning and midday of April 5th. They returned to headquarters at the bottom of Hill X. When he got back he threw up. It was very busy there because they had finally broken through so the Army could move up Highway 1. They didn't realize they were the ones that made all that possible. His adrenaline had stopped running then. In his mind he had a job to do and he was fighting a war. The next night, April 6th, 1945, a Colonel Sherman volunteered him to take the 473rd Infantry up to Hill X again. Baker was in trouble for not wearing a steel helmet. Runyon had returned but Baker never saw him again until he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on the 4th of July 1945 when Runyon was also being awarded a military decoration. They never spoke to each other.


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