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TODAY IN HISTORY
Fort Sill Gets Pacific Veteran

FORT SILL, April 24, 1943.—Sgt. Martin Baker of Springfield, Ohio, walked around Guadalcanal slaying Japs although he was blind in one eye.

Surgeons have cleared Sergeant Baker’s chest and face of Nipponese shrapnel and now he is chief clerk at the chemical warfare service warehouse at Fort Sill.

The sergeant is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about the southwest Pacific war. He watched scores of aerial dog-fights with Jap Zeros battling American P-40s and saw a Japanese battleship sink near Guadalcanal.

The 35-year-old infantryman landed on on the sandy shores of Guadalcanal on September 4 when army units relieved the marines who had arrived a month earlier.

“I was in one of the first army outfits to arrive,” Sergeant Baker said, “and before I left the Solomons three weeks later I had witnessed nearly 100 Japanese attempts to recapture Henderson field.”

It was eight days after Sergeant Baker reached the Pacific hotspot that he lost the vision in his left eye. Scrambling after Japs he ducked under a barbed-wire entanglement. He heard a suspicious noise to the rear and as he quickly turned his head, a sharp piece of wire poked him in the eye.

Sergeant Baker was sitting around a front-line command post a few days after injuring his optic when he spotted a lone Jap loitering nearby. “I took care of him with my machete,” he said dryly(Daily Oklahoman).