Hall of Fame

Baker, Captain Francis Anderson

Baker, Captain Francis Anderson
Baker, Captain Francis Anderson

Captain "Sam" Francis Anderson Baker of Brunswick, Georgia graduated from Glynn Academy and attended the University of Georgia. He was captivated by barnstormers performing at the Georgia coast and they taught him to fly.

He became an aviation instructor in 1926. Baker bought his first plane, an Alexander Eagle Rock, from Georgia’s first aviator, Ben Epps. Later, he became manager of the new McKinnon Field on St. Simon's Island, Georgia.

In 1942, he became captain and operations officer of the newly chartered Civil Air Patrol’s Coastal Patrol Unit 6 (CPU6). In the early months of World War II, Civil Air Patrol pilots were the nation's first line of defense against Hitler's deadly U-boats. Baker ran CP 6 operation for 22 months, including hundreds of hours of anti-submarine patrol in severe weather conditions. He also directed and flew search and rescue operations for the Navy Radar Training School at St. Simons. His discovery of a disguised U-boat perilously near the Georgia coast resulted in the arming of all coastal planes with bombs. After completion of his service in the Civil Air Patrol, Baker became a flight instructor to shipyard employees who were constructing Liberty ships in Brunswick, Georgia. He received the Air Medal and a letter signed by President Truman in 1948, and was among the first Civil Air Patrol aviators in the nation to be awarded the Certificate of Honorable Service.

After the war, he became the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at Brunswick and established the Baker Flying Service. He was a partner in founding Golden Isles Airline, a commuter service which later became Golden Isles Aviation. That FBO continues to support the local tourist economy as well as serving governmental, corporate and humanitarian missions.

He was known throughout the state as an aviation pioneer and played an important role in preparing young people for careers with military and commercial aviation. Numerous pilots have credited Baker with saving their lives and those of their passengers.

In recognition of his distinguished service to aviation, Baker was enshrined during the centennial year of aviation in Georgia on April 28, 2007 into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame.

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