Wing Commander Ernest Reginald Baker
DSO, DFC & Bar

“What a brilliant record… how many planes he shot down, how many submarines and E-boats he sank, I do not know, but I should say his bag put him among the greatest air aces of the war.” (Claude Enfield, The Doncaster Free Press, June 1944)

This section of website is dedicated to the memory of Wing Commander Ernest Reginald Baker DSO,DFC and Bar (known as Reg Baker. He was a successful fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War .

Providing a single point of reference it tells the story and shares his experiences by collating the various texts and photographs that record the life of one of the lesser known heroes of the war.

It has been written and compiled by Laurie Baker, nephew of Reg Baker.

Reggie Baker

Reggie was upheld as an inspirational leader and hero of the era. He was a true air ace, and a freeman of his hometown of Doncaster, England.

For the best part of four and a half years he brilliantly avoided misfortune. He flew day after day and week after week getting the better of the enemy every time. He led a large number of fighter bomber attacks against enemy shipping and constructional targets and personally destroyed three enemy aircraft.

In October 1943, Reg carried out a hazardous attack at point blank range on enemy shipping under heavy fire, to score a direct hit. By his outstanding leadership, courage, and determination, he set a splendid example to his officers and men.

His is a record bordering on the miraculous and earning him the reputation as one of the great gladiators of the skies.

Such a short life

Just ten days after the D-Day landings in June 1944 he ran into trouble a few miles to the west of Caen in France, as German flak batteries opened up. His fellow squadron pilots lost sight of their Wing Commander as the formation was disrupted by the bursting shells. Then a voice was heard over the radio: ‘Hello Carefree and Vampire aircraft, Port 180 – Lochinvar (Reg’s call-sign) – out.’

Nothing more was heard from Reg Baker. One pilot would later report that just before the last order was received he caught sight, through the cloud, of a Typhoon, out of control, in an almost vertical dive.

It was believed that this was Reg Baker and whilst plummeting to earth he had selflessly ordered his Wing to fly away from the danger. He crashed near St Mauvieu, where he was buried next to his wrecked plane by advancing front line troops

We lost to us a personification and embodiment of that great race of young men who, devoted to peace, enemies of no man, showed that when the life of their country was at stake they could rise to truly immortal heights.