From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Baker '79

Date of birth: August 31, 1857

Date of death: September 12, 1890

Age: 33

Lucky Bag

The Lucky Bag was first published in 1894.

Naval Academy Register

John Howard Baker was admitted to the Naval Academy from Rhode Island on September 15, 1875 at age 18 years 0 months.


John died of cholera on September 12, 1890 in Chefoo, China, while aboard Swatara.

He has a memorial marker in Maryland. John was survived by his wife — married June 30, 1886, at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. — and son.


From Journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers, Volume 2:


The career of this promising young officer was brought to a sad end by his sudden death from cholera at Chefoo, China, September 12, 1890.

His record was a creditable one in every way, professionally and socially. Great application and steadfastness of purpose made the satisfactory performance of any duty assigned to him an assured fact. His personal qualities, in which cheerfulness amounting almost to optimism was a strong ingredient, made him an always pleasant shipmate and he was a universal favorite.

He was born at Cleveland, Ohio, August 31, 1857; appointed a Cadet Engineer at the Naval Academy September 15, 1875. His service at sea was on the Standish, Nipsic, Trenton, Enterprise, Essex, Swatara and Monocacy, to which last he was attached at the time of his death.

He was commissioned an Assistant Engineer, June 10, 1881.

His only shore duty was at St. John's College, Annapolis, as Professor of Mechanical Engineering, from 1885 to 1888.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Cadet Engineer, 15 September, 1875. Graduated 10 June, 1879. Assistant Engineer, 10 June, 1881. Died 12 September, 1890.

John's rank is given as Lieutenant on his memorial marker but Assistant Engineer in all other mentions.

Class of 1879

John is one of 3 members of the Class of 1879 on Virtual Memorial Hall.