Rank at time of receipt: Specialist Fourth
Class, U.S. Army
Unit: Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry,
1st Cavalry Division
Place and date: Phuoc Long Province, Republic
of Vietnam, 10 February 1970
Entered service at: Fort Ord, California.
Born: 10 January 1949, Providence, R.l.
For 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.