- "I never asked to be squad leader"
- — Matthew Baker
Staff Sergeant Matthew Baker, is the main protagonist in Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30, a secondary character in Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood and again the main character in Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway.
Matt Baker is a soft-spoken young man who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. When the war started he volunteered to be a paratrooper, but never expected to lead his squad.
Matthew Baker was the son of Colonel Joseph and Julia Baker and was born in Fort Benning, Georgia on February 22, 1923. His parents separated in 1927 when Matt was only four. On the day he left, Joseph presented Matt with a custom made, nickel plated, Colt M1911 inscribed "To Matthew: Brothers in Arms". Julia came from a wealthy family and military life did not agree with her, so Matt had to give it back to his father.
Colonel Joseph Baker continued to be assigned around the US Army posts in the US, Panama, and China. Matt only communicated with his father on rare visits and through letters. Baker grew up with his mother in St. Louis, Missouri during the Great Depression.
When Matt was at High School, he became close friends with George Risner. They both graduated from high school in 1941 and enlisted in the US Army on June 9th 1942, the day after they graduated from high school. Matt then took the Colt M1911 pistol back from his father, and took it to war with him.
Early Military Career
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Matt and George volunteered for the newly activated airborne divisions of the United States Army.
They went through basic training together and both wanted to join the paratroopers. Unfortunately, George broke his leg in basic training and was put into another training class. Matt volunteered for the paratroopers and trained at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was assigned to the 3rd Squad of the 3rd Platoon of Fox Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 502nd Parachute Infantry of the 101st Airborne division, two weeks before D-Day.
Sergeant Saunderson, the squad leader of 3rd Squad broke his leg in a practice parachute jump and Platoon Sergeant; Greg "Mac" Hassay (who knew Baker's father) promoted Corporal Matt Baker to Sergeant and placed him in charge of the 3rd squad.
Road To Hill 30
On June 6, 1944, Baker and his squad parachuted into Normandy. However, as his squad was waiting for the green light to begin the jump, the C-47 was hit by FLaK, killing Private Muzza (3rd Squad's first casualty) and knocking Baker out of the plane. In his first near- death experience, Baker was able to deploy his parachute and landed safely. After he found the nearest road he found "Mac" Hassay and fought with him for most of D-Day.
Throughout the campaign, Baker leads his squad through various battles that claim the lives of most soldiers in 3rd Squad, including the capture of Objective XYZ and of Vierville, Purple Heart Lane, Cole's Charge, the Battle of Carentan, and the defense of Hill 30 on the outskirts of Carentan. To read about Baker's story throughout the game, visit the articles on the levels of Road To Hill 30. .
During the battle on Hill 30, Baker was knocked to the ground by a tank shell and a piece of shrapnel from the explosion left a prominent scar on his forehead. Whilst the other soldiers were fighting, Baker managed to contact the tanks and bring them back to the battle, going round the back and wiping out the German forces. He and the remaining members of the squad went back to Carentan, Baker carrying the dead body of a fellow soldier, Kevin Leggett. He is then present outside Carentan Cathederal where the promotions take place, and where it was cut short by German mortar fire.
Earned In Blood
Baker appears as a supporting role in Earned In Blood, and he guides and helps Hartsock throughout Carentan. Baker is first seen during "Three Patrol Action". Afterwards, Baker appears at the end when Baker and Hartsock tell their stories to Army historian Col. S.L.A. Marshall.
Baker is again the protagonist in Hell's Highway. After Normandy, Baker's platoon is folded into a brand new Reconnaissance platoon. The recon platoon relies on their jeeps for fast movement through the battlefields to recon and harass enemy positions. The squad is broken up to two teams assigned into jeeps.
Baker is now suffering from too much guilt, and is seeing ghosts of his dead squad members that are haunting him, mostly Leggett. He is then forced by Dawson to tell his men that he knew what had happened to Allen and Garnett in Normandy. The men almost lose their trust in Baker, but after a speech he gives in the final cutscene, all except Corrion, stand by him. Baker also seems to finally have enough with the rumors about his supposed "cursed" pistol and throws it into the woods during his final speech in the game, declaring, "It's just a goddamn gun!"
As NPC and in Cutscenes
- M1 Garand
- M1A1 Carbine
- Scoped G43
- M1A1 Thompson
- M1928 Thompson
- M1918A2 B.A.R.
- Colt M1911/"Death Pistol"
Baker's squad is a traditional paratrooper squad consisting of twelve soldiers, jokingly called "Baker's Dozen." Baker's soldiers include
- Pfc. Leggett (KIA)
- Private Muzza was killed by a piece of flak in his chest.He never saw combat, as he died in the plane where they had to jump.
- Privates Allen and Garnett are both killed during a flanking maneuver against an enemy held farm.
- Private Rivas was killed by a sniper on Purple Heart Lane.
- Private Desola was killed by a Stuka dive bomber while trying to squeeze through the gate on Purple Heart Lane.
- Private First Class Obrieski was killed by a sniper during the defense of the cathedral in downtown Carentan.
- Private Leggett was killed when he went berserk and started firing and assaulting the Germans with his pistols and was yelling to them to take him, and when he finally snapped and yelled, a tank shot him in the chest and he died instantly near Baker.
- Sergeant Risner was killed when his tank was hit by a Panzerfaust anti-tank weapon.
Pvt. LaRoche, was killed by a German whilst running away with a Dutch girl. His body was left in the burning abandoned hospital. Cpl. Corrion was shot in the chest during battle, but survived due to treatment from Dr. Gideon. Hartsock, although not in Baker's squad in Holland, was paralyzed by a mortar, and was sent home, because he would never walk again.
"Mac" Hassay guides Baker throughout Normandy and has a large amount of respect for Baker because he fought with his father years ago. Mac promotes Baker to sergeant, and has a reasonable amount of favoritism for him. The two have an equal amount of respect for each other and they both know the secret about Leggett. Mac orders Baker not to tell anyone, but Baker's conscience and Dawson's prodding become too much and he reveals the incident to the squad. Mac seems annoyed by this and the two are left on a sour note.
Leggett was the squad radio operator, and mainly stuck with Mac throughout the missions. Leggett has a lot of trust in Baker, and cries for help when Allen and Garnett are killed. Baker forced Leggett to keep the incident with Allen and Garnett a secret, and although he tells Dawson about it, Leggett eventually goes mad and more or less commits suicide. Baker is haunted by the ghost of Leggett (or possibly a figment of his imagination) who is unkind to Baker, being verbally abusive and sarcastic. It is unknown whether this is Leggett's actual ghost, or just Baker's mind playing tricks on him. The ghost follows him throughout Hell's Highway and you frequently see him in various places throughout Eindhoven.
Risner and Baker are best friends. They have been since high school and they volunteered for the U.S. Army after graduating. Because of a knee injury during basic training, Risner was unable to join the paratroops and was separated from his friend Matt. Risner joined the tank corps instead, and became the commander of an M5 Stuart tank in the 70th Tank Battalion. Risner was scheduled to land at Utah beach and agreed to link up with Baker in Normandy after D-Day. He is the fourth character in Road To Hill 30 to be killed.
Baker cares for his squad. This is proven when he is deeply affected by the deaths of Leggett, Allen, Garnett and Franky, for whom Baker feels responsible. He describes McCreary as 'still kind of an asshole'.
- Baker was voiced by Troy Baker, however the surname is purely coincidental, as the character was named before the actor was cast to play his role.
- Even though he is their superior, some of the men in Baker's squad including Corrion and Zanovich are older than him.
- Baker's father died while holding his pistol, a pistol which is believed to be "cursed" because everyone who has touched the pistol has died.
- Baker's father had been a Quad .50 operator, which was revealed in Hell's Highway.
- He thinks that he and Hartsock should write a book about the war.
- Although not the main character in Earned in Blood, he is playable in skirmish mode.
- Baker is the only person who survives with the "cursed" pistol. (also know as the "death pistol")
- Baker leads 13 men and has the number 13 on his helmet. The number 13 is commonly known as an unlucky number.
- Baker seems to prefer rifles because he is usually seen with the M1 Garand and is occasionally seen using the M1 Carbine.
- Matthew Baker is based off Harrison C. Summers.