News | June 24, 2020

Chesterfield veteran celebrates a century of memories

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Adelbert "Del" Baker was born June 20, 1920, a couple of years after the end of World War I and the beginning of an era known as Roaring '20s. 

He is also part of what was coined The Greatest Generation, those who lived through the Great Depression and who served in the military during World War II.  

Baker served in the Army from 1942 to 1945 as a "cannon cocker" in the Pacific theater during World War II with the 25th Infantry Division, 90th Field Artillery Battalion, Battery C.  

Sandy Duke said her dad is proud of his service.  

"He has always loved his country and can remember more about WWII and tell us stories of his experiences in the Army now more than ever before," she said. 

Duke said due to her father’s health concerns, he moved into the Magnolias of Chesterfield Assisted Living Facility in Chester, Virginia, in December 2019. Baker lost his wife of 64-years, Katherine, in 2010. 

Because of social distancing guidelines and restrictions due to the coronavirus, the facility is on lockdown, allowing few visitors, so they decided to have a birthday parade celebrating Baker.  

Baker sat quietly outside, waving to the motorcyclists with the American Legion Riders, Charles A. Ransom Post 186 in Midlothian, Virginia, as well as Chesterfield County Police, fire and first responders who passed in front of the facility.  

Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford sent Baker a birthday note at the request of a former DLA Aviation employee.  

"On behalf of myself and the more than 4,000 civilian and military personnel that make up the DLA Aviation team in Richmond and across the country, it is my sincere honor wishing you a happy 100th birthday," Sanford wrote. "Mr. Baker, you will forever be a part of the great brotherhood and sisterhood we call the U.S. military." 

"It means a lot to him and our family to have someone like Brigadier General Sanford take time from his important duties. His goal of reaching 100 meant a lot and he can’t believe all the attention he is getting," Duke said.  

Mr. Baker, we salute you and Happy Birthday!