Frank Leroy Baer RM2/c



Frank Baer was born in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania and was graduated from Franford High School (Philadelphia, PA) in June of 1938. He joined the US Navy and became a recruit with the 15th Company U.S. Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, May 15th, 1939. After completion of his training, Frank was ordered to San Diego, California and completed his course of instruction for Group II (a) Communications School (radioman), December 22nd, 1939.

Frank was assigned to the Flag communications group of Comdesron 3 attached to U.S.S. Clark DD361 San Diego, CA. He reported aboard the Clark December 29th, 1939 as a Radioman 3rd class. The ship spent much of it’s time between San Diego, California and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. At one point, the Clark made a trip to Australia during 1941. Dates and exact locations are not known, but Frank also spent time aboard the Downes DD 375 in 1940 (Flag shifted while Clark was at Mare Island for overhaul), Destroyer Tenders Whitney AD 4 and was known to be attached to Dixie AD 14 in June of 1942. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, it appears that the Clark was at Mare Island for repairs and Frank’s duty station at that point is unknown. It is known that he ultimately was transferred to the U.S.S. Laffey DD 459 and was onboard at least since August of 1942. The Laffey was involved in the third naval battle of Savo Island and was sunk in a night action on November 13th, 1942. Frank was listed as "Missing in Action" and later declared dead by the Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox one year later.

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