The Official Newsletter of the
Shenandoah Valley Chapter #313
Korean War Veterans Association
Norman L. Baker
Norman L. Baker volunteered for WWII in 1943 at the age of 17, serving in the U.S. Naval Reserves. He was a member of the 5th Amphibious corps attached to Marine assault forces in the Battle of Iwo Jima. During the Korean War, he spent a year in combat with the Reconnaissance & Intelligence platoon of HQ Co, 14th Infantry regiment, 25th Division.
Norm graduated from Indiana Institute of Technology with a BS in Aerospace engineering. At Boeing, he was a development engineer on the Bomarc Missile program. In 1955, he formally proposed the development of a space shuttle manned spacecraft very similar to the present spacecraft. He was later credited with coining the name of the Space shuttle.
He was recruited from Boeing as an editor of Missile and Rockets Magazine after he proposed the Space Shuttle. Recognized as a space pioneer in his own right, he developed a close friendship with such space pioneers as Werner Von Braun, and Mrs. Esther Goddard, the widow of Dr. Robert Goddard, the developer of the world's first liquid propellant rockets, and other founders of the nation's space program.
Eventually, Norm founded his own publishing corporation, with publications in the field of space and defense. He founded Defense Daily, a premier publication currently covering the nation's defense establishment. He was a journalist publisher and a White House correspondent for several years, covering eight presidential administrations. He also was a Senate and House Press Gallery correspondent and for a time was Dean of the Pentagon Press Corps. He was a founder of the National Space Club and is recognized as one of the nation's space pioneers. Annually since the beginning of the Space Age, he has served as chairman of the Astronautic Engineer Award, recognizing the nation's outstanding space engineer, an award he founded in 1959. After a 40 year professional life as a writer, journalist,editor-in-chief and publisher in the fields of defense, military affairs, science and space, Norman retired from his vocation in 1996.
As part of his life-long love for the nation's history, he has been researching the American explorers and frontiersmen as well as the westward migration of our nation for five decades. A large portion of that study has been devoted to the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. He has compiled what is considered to be one of the most comprehensive studies identifying and locating the forts of the French and Indian War, extending from the shores of Lake Erie to North Carolina and their role in the defense of the frontiers. Norm is author of Who's Who in Space (1995); Frontier Forts of Berkeley County, (1995); French and Indian War in Frederick County Virginia, (2000); Valley of the Crooked Run: The history of a Frontier Road, (2002); Fort Loudoun: Washington's Fort in Virginia (2006); Braddock's Road,The Final Thrust (2011-2012)Braddock's Road, Mapping the British Expedition from Alexandria to the Monongahela (2013). Being prepared for publication this year: Braddock's Road Historical Atlas.
He was a founding member of the french and Indian War foundation in 2002. As historian, he has worked