TFH 2/1: Lieutenant Colonel Allan R. Baer, USAF

Two days ago, I related the story of Lieutenant Colonel Karl T. Feuerriegel and Captain Kenneth H. Sellers, two pilots with the 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron who were decorated with the Air Force Cross for their heroism on the day the communist Tet Offensive was launched in Vietnam. For a three-day period from January 30 to February 1, 1968, another of their fellow Cessna O-2 look at this website Skymaster pilots was similarly recognized for his aerial efforts over Nha Trang.

Allan R. Baer was born on January 29, 1929 in Detroit, Michigan. He enlisted in the United States Air Force before it was a year old as a separate service on July 2, 1948. After being trained as a radio operator, Baer was accepted into the aviation cadet program and received both his pilot’s wings and an officer’s commission. He flew both the Boeing B-29 Superfortress and B-47 Stratojet with the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command during the 1950s. He was in his second of two consecutive combat tours in Vietnam between September 1966 and April 1968 when he entered the Air Force’s ranks of greatest heroes.

From Military Times’ Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Allan R. Baer (AFSN: FR-494447), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Forward Air Controller and Pilot of an O-2 airplane of the 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron, Nha Trang Air Base, Vietnam, in action in the Republic of Vietnam from 30 January 1968 to 1 February 1968. During that period, Colonel Baer was virtually a one-man command post for the battle of Nha Trang, directing and conducting close air support missions night and day, resulting in the neutralization of over three hundred of the hostile attacking force. On no less than eleven separate occasions, Colonel Baer’s aerial skill and courage in the face of intense unfriendly ground fire were the decisive factors in the defeat of the hostile forces. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Lieutenant Colonel Baer reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Just over a year prior during the first of his back-to-back Vietnam combat tours, Baer received the Silver Star for aerial valor.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Major Allan R. Baer (AFSN: FR-494447), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Forward Air Controller and Pilot of an O-2 airplane at Nha Trang, Republic of Vietnam, in action near Ban Me Thuot, Republic of Vietnam, on 19 January 1967. On that date, a friendly forces unit came under heavy attack by hostile forces and was in imminent danger of being overrun. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Major Baer continually faced intense ground fire, quickly isolated the hostile forces, and accurately directed air strikes against these forces until the threat was completely neutralized. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Baer has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

He also received four Distinguished Flying Crosses for his Vietnam service. In addition to his operational and combat flying, he spent many years with the Air Force Systems Command. Baer retired from the United States Air Force on August 31, 1976.

I believe Colonel Baer is still living, as I was unable to find information to the contrary.

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One thought on “TFH 2/1: Lieutenant Colonel Allan R. Baer, USAF”

  1. Hello, I am Lt. Col. Allan R. Baers granddaughter, he has sadly past away in March of 2015, you have know idea how wonderful it is to read about him! He never knew how amazing he was! He always made it seem like he was just doing his job! But he was and still is my hero! I’m glad I’m not the only one bragging about him! Thank you so much!

    Sincerely, Mariah Baer

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