John Baca was born in Providence, R.I. on January 10, 1949.


Editor’s Note:  Voice of OC is honoring some of Orange County’s most notable veterans with profiles. We thank these people, other veterans and those serving today for their dedication and service to our country.


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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

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More about John Baca:


Notable Orange County Veterans:

1st Lieutenant Kenneth A. Walsh, Medal of Honor: World War II Fighter Ace

Captain Nelson M. Holderman, Medal of Honor:  World War I Hero

Captain William E. Barber, Medal of Honor: Fought at Iwo Jima

Corporal Tibor Rubin, Medal of Honor: Korean War – 1st Cavalry Division

Lance Corporal Kenneth L. Worley, Medal of Honor: Gave His Life for his Country

Lieutenant (J. G.) Donald A. Gary, Medal of Honor: Officer on The USS Franklin in Japan

Master-At-Arms Second Class Michael A. Monsoor, Medal of Honor: Navy Seal Dies While Saving His Comrades

PFC Clarence B. Craft, Medal of Honor: Hastened the End of the Campaign on Okinawa

Sergeant Chris Carr, Medal of Honor: WWII Hero Battled in Italy

Staff Sergeant Walter D. Ehlers, Medal of Honor: Stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day

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