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Colonel Rex Barber (deceased)

Ace with 5.00 Victories

Rex Theodore Barber was born in Culver, Oregon on May 6, 1917. Barber was accepted at Oregon State University and graduated from that University in 1940. In September of that year Barber enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and served as a private first class, prior to being accepted for flight training in March of 1941. Following graduation with Class 41-H from Mather Field in California in October of 1941, now Lt. Rex Barber was assigned to the 70th Fighter Squadron of the 35th Fighter Group. He arrived in the Fiji Islands with his new unit in January of 1942. Barber's only victory in 1942 was on December 28, 1942 when he downed a twin-engine Japanese Nell. Early in 1943 the 70th Fighter Squadron was integrated into the 339th Fighter Group, and converted to the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter. The P-38 was an ideal aircraft given the long distances involved in combat in the Pacific. In April Rex got credit for downing two Zekes near Cape Esperance. On April 18, 1943 Rex participated in one of the most interesting missions of the War, the interception and destruction of the Betty bomber carrying Admiral lsoruko Yamamoto, the Commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet, and mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The mission was commanded by Major John Mitchell. While a total of sixteen aircraft were involved, only four were to actually attack the Betty. With Yamamoto noted for his punctuality, and American code-breakers having deciphered his intinerary, Mitchell's flight had a fighting chance of pulling off the mission. Yamamoto's flight arrived on schedule. There were two Betty bombers and only four escorting fighters. Barber, Lt. Frank Holmes and Captain Tom Lamphier got in the heat of the action. Barber got hits on both the Bettys and also bagged a Zeke. The Army Air Force decided after the mission to give equal credit to both Lamphier and Barber for downing the Betty which Yamamoto was a passenger in. Years later Tom Lamphier lobbied hard for getting sole credit for the Yamamoto victory. The Air Force's official investigation concluded that a shared victory was still appropriate. More recent evidence, including testimony from one of the Japanese Zero pilots and a survivor from one of the Bettys which was downed, were supportive of the thesis that Rex Barber should get full credit. A book published by noted aviation historian and author Carroll Glines favors this conclusion, and a recent review panel of the American Fighter Aces Association concluded that Rex Barber deserves the sole credit for downing Yamamoto's Betty. This unfortunate controversy tarnishes the fact that this mission was the longest successful interception of its kind, and all those who participated in all aspects of it deserve credit. Barber served a second combat tour in the Pacific with the 449th Fighter Squadron in China. Following the War, Rex commanded the 29th Fighter Squadron of the 412th Fighter Group. Later he would command one of the Air Force's early jet squadrons flying the P-59A Airacomet and the P-80. Rex retired from the Air Force in 1961. His numerous decorations include the Navy Cross, the Silver Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. In January 1945, he returned to duty with 412th Fighter Group, 29th Fighter Squadron, testing the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. He flew jet fighters in the Korean War and retired as a Colonel after a full Air Force career. By the end of WWII, Barber had five confirmed aerial victories and three probables. Awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal and Veteran of foreign Wars Gold Medal of Merit, he died peacefully in his home on July 26, 2001.

Items Signed by Colonel Rex Barber (deceased)

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Lightning Strike by Robert Taylor.
Price : £450.00
......

Quantity:
 Doug Canning breaks radio silence to call the sighting of Admiral Yamamotos flight over the pacific island of Bourganville, 18 April 1943. After a two and a half hour, four hundred mile flight just above the waves, mission leader John Mitchell and h......
Bogeys Eleven O Clock High by Robert Taylor
Price : £250.00
Doug Canning breaks radio silence to call the sighting of Admiral Yamamotos flight over the pacific island of Bourganville, 18 April 1943. After a two and a half hour, four hundred mile flight just above the waves, mission leader John Mitchell and h......

Quantity:
 Doug Canning breaks radio silence to call the sighting of Admiral Yamamotos flight over the pacific island of Bourganville, 18 April 1943. After a two and a half hour, four hundred mile flight just above the waves, mission leader John Mitchell and h......
Bogeys Eleven O Clock High by Robert Taylor (AP)
Price : £325.00
Doug Canning breaks radio silence to call the sighting of Admiral Yamamotos flight over the pacific island of Bourganville, 18 April 1943. After a two and a half hour, four hundred mile flight just above the waves, mission leader John Mitchell and h......

Quantity:
 On April 18, 1943, in one of the more interesting, daring, and ultimately controversial missions of WW II, a flight of P-38s under the command of Major John Mitchell, intercepted and destroyed the aircraft carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commande......Yamamoto's Last Flight by Stan Stokes. (B)
Price : £124.00
On April 18, 1943, in one of the more interesting, daring, and ultimately controversial missions of WW II, a flight of P-38s under the command of Major John Mitchell, intercepted and destroyed the aircraft carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commande......

Quantity:
On April 18, 1943, in one of the more interesting, daring, and ultimately controversial missions of WW II, a flight of P-38s under the command of Major John Mitchell, intercepted and destroyed the aircraft carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander......Yamamoto's Last Flight by Stan Stokes. (D)
Price : £105.00
On April 18, 1943, in one of the more interesting, daring, and ultimately controversial missions of WW II, a flight of P-38s under the command of Major John Mitchell, intercepted and destroyed the aircraft carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander......

Quantity:

Packs with at least one item featuring the signature of Colonel Rex Barber (deceased)

Pacific P-38 Lightning Prints by Nicolas Trudgian and Stan Stokes.
Pack Price : £215.00
Saving : £189
Aviation Print Pack. ......

Titles in this pack :

Pacific Glory by Nicolas Trudgian.
Yamamoto's Last Flight by Stan Stokes. (B)

Quantity:
Colonel Rex Barber (deceased)

Squadrons for : Colonel Rex Barber (deceased)
A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by Colonel Rex Barber (deceased). A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

35th Fighter Group

Country : US

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of 35th Fighter Group
35th Fighter Group

Full profile not yet available.

412th Fighter Group

Country : US

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of 412th Fighter Group
412th Fighter Group

Later became the 1st Fighter Group.
Aircraft for : Colonel Rex Barber (deceased)
A list of all aircraft associated with Colonel Rex Barber (deceased). A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
SquadronInfo

Airacomet

Click the name above to see prints featuring Airacomet aircraft.

Manufacturer : Bell

Airacomet

(YP-59)

Lightning



Click the name above to see prints featuring Lightning aircraft.

Manufacturer : Lockheed

Lightning

Designed by Kelly Johnson the P38 made its maiden flight on the 27th January 1939 and introduced into service in 1941. they cost $134,284 at the time each and a total of 10,037 were built. The Lockheed P-38 was introduced as a inceptor fighter but soon proved a valuable long range bomber escort for the 8thUS Air Force's B-17 and-24 bombers as they bombed targets further into Germany.

Shooting Star

Click the name above to see prints featuring Shooting Star aircraft.

Manufacturer : Lockheed

Shooting Star

(P-80), (RF-80), (T-33)

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