Editor’s note: This Veterans Day Voice of OC is publishing a series of plaques honoring some of Orange County’s most decorated veterans. John Baca was born in Providence, R.I. on January 10, 1949.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by
Act of Congress, 3 March 1863, has awarded the Medal of Honor to
Specialist Fourth Class John P. Baca
United States Army
Citation: SP4 John P. Baca, U.S. Army, Company D. 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Distinguished himself on 10 February, 1970, while serving with recoilless rifle team during a night ambush mission in Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam.
A platoon from his company was sent to investigate the detonation of an ambush device forward of his unit’s position and came under heavy enemy fire. Hearing the heavy firing from the platoon and knowing his Recoilless Rifle Unit could assist, SP4 Baca led his team through the hail of enemy fire.
As his unit prepared to engage the enemy, a grenade was thrown into the midst of this group. SP4 Baca with complete disregard for his own safety, covered the grenade with his steel helmet and fell on it as the grenade exploded, absorbing the concussion and the fragments with his own body.
His gallant actions and complete disregard for his own safety directly saved eight men from serious injury or death. The extraordinary courage displayed by SP4 Baca, are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on the United States Army.
Orange County Walk of Honor by AMVETS
More about John Baca:
- Congressional Medal of Honor Society
- John Baca (Wikipedia)
- John Baca Video (Medal of Honor Foundation)
- Voice of OC to Publish Series on Veterans Memorial Plaques