WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Clinton Baer is one of the few remaining survivors of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. On Friday, he was finally honored for his service to our country.
Baer, now 98, joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1940 and after surviving the surprise attack by the Japanese the following year, went on to proudly serve in the United States’ Pacific and Guadalcanal Campaigns.
Because of the injuries he suffered during his service, Baer earned a Purple Heart, which was presented to him during a special ceremony in Warwick on Friday.
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed was on hand to present Baer with the medal, along with three others he earned while serving: the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars, a World War II Victory Medal, and the Honorable Service Lapel Button.
Baer said he was overwhelmed and grateful for the ceremony that’s been a long time coming.
“It’s been quite a few years now,” he said. “And they started asking me about my experiences, so, I opened up and told them what I could.”
“This is a way not only to recognize this gentleman,” said Reed. “But also recognize a whole generation of Americans who served and current men and women who are serving because they’re inspired by his sacrifice and they serve because they know he served.”
In addition to the awards Baer received for his service on Friday, his unit also earned the Distinguished Unit Badge in 1943.