World War II Hero Vernon Baker Dies
SPOKANE, Wash. - Vernon Baker, the only remaining African American recipient of the World War II Medal of Honor has died. The St. Maries resident received the award from President Clinton in 1997. Baker, a second lieutenant in the United States Army, was cited for bravery at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty in April of 1945. He won several other medals as well, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Hodges Funeral Home in St. Maries is handling arrangements. There's no word right now on when a memorial service will take place. Vernon Baker was 90 years old.
Statement of Senator Jim Risch on the Passing of Medal of Honor Recipient Vernon Baker:
"I am saddened by the passing of Vernon Baker, a Medal of Honor recipient who lived in St. Maries, Idaho. I had the honor of meeting with Vern during my tenure as governor and appointing him to the Idaho Commission on Human Rights, where he faithfully served.
"Vern epitomized what has been called the ‘greatest generation' and selflessly served this nation at a time when he was not welcome in all places. He loved his country and was deserving of all the honors bestowed upon him for his outstanding service and sacrifice. For nearly 25 years, Vern Baker chose to call Idaho his home, and now we salute him one last time for his selfless courage and grace."
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