The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
BACA, JOHN P.
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth
Class, U.S. Army, 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, Calif. 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.