Baugh enlisted in the U.S. Army as an aviation cadet of the U.S. Army Air Corps in March 1942. He was accepted into a newly formed group, later known as the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black unit at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in November 1942. In the group, 996 were pilots, and 450 of them were sent into combat. He flew 136 combat missions for the 332nd Fighter Group, 99th Fighter Squadron in Sicily, Italy during World War. The group was nicknamed the “Red Tails” or “Red Tail Squadron” for the red-feather markings painted on the tails of their aircraft.
After World War II, Baugh continued to serve in the military as a flight instructor, commander, and director of logistics. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1967.