and organization: Specialist
Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry,
1st Cavalry Division.
and date: Phuoc
Long Province, Republic of Vietnam, 10 February 1970.
service at: Fort
Ord, Calif. Born: 10 January 1949, Providence, R.l.
conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Baca, Company D, distinguished
himself while serving on a recoilless rifle team during a night
ambush mission A platoon from his company was sent to investigate
the detonation of an automatic ambush device forward of his unit's
main position and soon came under intense enemy fire from concealed
positions along the trail. Hearing the heavy firing from the platoon
position and realizing that his recoilless rifle team could assist
the members of the besieged patrol, Sp4c. Baca led his team through
the hail of enemy fire to a firing position within the patrol's
defensive perimeter. As they prepared to engage the enemy, a fragmentation
grenade was thrown into the midst of the patrol. Fully aware of
the danger to his comrades, Sp4c. Baca unhesitatingly, and with
complete disregard for his own safety, covered the grenade with
his steel helmet and fell on it as the grenade exploded, thereby
absorbing the lethal fragments and concussion with his body. His
gallant action and total disregard for his personal well-being directly
saved 8 men from certain serious injury or death. The extraordinary
courage and selflessness displayed by Sp4c. Baca, at the risk of
his life, are in the highest traditions of the military service
and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.