UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS, BRONZE, SLOT BROOCH; AIR MEDAL, BRONZE, WITH OAK LEAF CLUSTER EMBLEM ON RIBAND, WRAP BROOCH; ASIATIC-PACIFIC CAMPAIGN MEDAL 1941-45, BRONZE; WITH ONE SILVER AND TWO BRONZE STAR EMBLEMS ON RIBAND, CRIMP BROOCH; VICTORY MEDAL 1945, BRONZE, CRIMP BROOCH; PHILIPPINES LIBERATION MEDAL, BRONZE AND ENAMEL, CRIMP BROOCH; PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION RIBAND BAR.
George Raymond Barker was born on 18 May, 1917, Butte, Montana and enlisted into the U.S. Army as a Private on 3 August 1937. Discharged on 3 November 194, he immediately re-enlisted as an Aviation Cadet. Promoted Sergeant, 3 November 1941 and Master Sergeant, 23 June 1942, he began flying training in February 1942, and by December he was piloting the B17 heavy bomber. He was Honourably Discharged from training on 22 June 1942, and immediately commissioned wartime 2 Lieutenant. Promoted Lieutenant on 18 February 1943 and Captain, 3 April 1944, Barker was assigned to 795th Squadron, 468th Bomb Group (The Billy Mitchell Bomb Group), 58th Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force in June 1944. Equipped with B-29's. the group moved, via Africa, to Kharagpur, India in June 1944. Barker flew combat missions flying over “the Hump” to carry supplies from India to staging fields in China, before entering combat with an attack on railroad shops at Bangkok, Thailand, on 5 June 1944. From bases in India, China, and Ceylon, he mined shipping lanes near Saigon, French Indochina, and Shanghai, China, and struck Japanese installations in Burma, Thailand, French Indochina, Indonesia, Formosa, China and Japan. Targets included iron works, aircraft factories, transportation centres and naval installations. Barker’s regular B-29 aircraft (42-24734) named “Miss Lead” crashed at Tinian on return from a mission on 8 June, but was repaired. On 20 August 1944, as part of the 468th Bomb Group, Barker took part in the first US air raid on Japan since the “Doolittle Raid” in April 1942. 64 B-29 Superfortress’s took part in this daylight raid on the iron and steel works at Yawata, Japan. For this raid the 468th received a Distinguished Unit Citation. Citation as follows…………………
1) A Leather cased B29 bomb load adjusting slide rule, this numbered and marked ‘Model B-29’;
2) The recipients dog tags;
3) Metal uniform name tag;
4) Pilots wings, embossed ‘Sterling’, uniform attachments removed for display;
5) 20th Bomber Command silvered and enamel pin badge;
6) Major’s collar insignia;
7) Sergeants chevrons;
8) U.S.A.F. unit patches;
9) Air Force cloth escape map, South East China;
10)he recipients lightweight side cap with Major’s insignia.
Additionally, a large archive of original documentation, including various photographs of Barker next his B29 “Miss Lead” and Barker and other crew; Original newspaper cuttings relating to service and awards; ration cards, foreign currency; various U.S.A.F. Certificates and Diplomas, including; Pilots training course completion, appointment to rank of Major and Master Sergeant; Strategic Air Command course; proficiency as Flying Instructor; Honourable discharge. Also citations for both the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal,enlistment and service records, plus some copied research.