John Milton Baker, 83, a retired English professor and veteran of both world wars and the Korean conflict, died Thursday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after a long illness.

He came to Washington when he was recalled to active duty in the Army in 1943, and remained here until he was sent to Korea during the conflict there.

Mr. Baker was discharged from the Army in Korea in 1952, but remained there with the Agency for International Development. He later worked with AID in Japan.

He then stayed in Japan, teaching in the University of Maryland's overseas program, until 1965 when he returned here.

Born in Highland Park, Ill., Mr. Baker graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. After serving in World War I, he attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and earned a doctorate in English literature from Harvard University.

He taught at Hartwick College in Onconta, N.Y., the University of Hawaii and Syracuse University.

Mr. Baker was a member of the Military Order of the World Wars, the Columbia and Harvard clubs, the American Association of University Professors, the International House of Japan, and the Royal Asiatic Society in Korea. He belonged to the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.

He is survived by his wife, Susan Dennision Baker, of the home in Washington; a daughter, Mrs. John M. Ellis, of Belvedere, Calif. and two grandchildren.