In this photograph, Admiral H. Kent Hewitt of the 8th Fleet can be seen giving out awards to the heroes from the USS Duane. Admiral Hewitt was previously aboard the Duane where he and Admiral Lowry took part in “Operation Anvil-Dragoon” – the Allied invasion of Southern France. The USS Hewitt was later named after him and was in service from 1974 until 2001.
The man receiving the award in this photograph is this website’s namesake – Ph. M. John “Jack” Baker. It is believed that this photograph was taken by Dale Rooks. I am not sure if there are photos of each man being awarded their medals, or if Rooks just happened to take this one because my grandfather was his good friend. This was likely taken in early 1945 while the USS Duane was docked in Bizerte, Tunisia.
If anyone has any more information, or can identify any of the other men in this photograph, please contact me.