Barber, Rex T., 1917-2001

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person

Name Entries *

Barber, Rex T., 1917-2001

Computed Name Heading

Name Components

Surname :

Barber

Forename :

Rex T.

Date :

1917-2001

eng

Latn

authorizedForm

rda

Genders

Male

Exist Dates

Exist Dates - Date Range

1917-05-06

May 6th, 1917

Birth

2001-07-26

July 26th, 2001

Death

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Biographical History

Colonel Rex T. Barber (May 6, 1917 – July 26, 2001) was a World War II fighter pilot from the United States. He is best known as a member of the top secret mission to intercept the aircraft carrying Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in April 1943. Barber received his commission as a U.S. Army officer and his pilot's wings on October 31, 1941. He joined the 70th Pursuit Squadron, which arrived at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, in December 1942. Flying a Bell P-39 Airacobra, he scored his first victory by downing a Japanese bomber on the 28th. Upon transfer to the 339th Squadron, he began flying P-38 Lightnings and claimed two Zero fighters on April 7. On April 18, Lieutenant Barber figured prominently in the Yamamoto interception, also known as Operation Vengeance. Intelligence sources had learned that Yamamoto would be flying in a "Betty" bomber on an inspection tour of Japanese bases in the northern Solomon Islands. Historian Donald P. Bourgeois credits Barber with the sole kill of Yamamoto's aircraft. In 1991, Barber and Captain Thomas George Lanphier, Jr. were officially credited with half a kill each in Yamamoto's bomber after the Air Force reviewed the incident. Lanphier also claimed to have shot down a Zero fighter during this mission, although Japanese records show that no Zeros were lost. After his tour of duty ended in June 1943, then-Captain Barber requested a return to combat. Late that year, he joined the 449th Fighter Squadron in China, still flying P-38s. He claimed three further Japanese planes probably destroyed and damaged, but he was shot down on his 139th mission, bailing out near Kiukiang on April 29. He was rescued by Chinese civilians, who treated his injuries and escorted him to safety five weeks later. At the end of the war, Barber attained the rank of major and commanded one of America's first jet squadrons. He retired as a colonel in 1961.

eng

Latn

External Related CPF

https://viaf.org/viaf/16441602

http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n93073577

https://id.loc.gov/authorities/n93073577

https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q7319325

https://www.wikidata.org/entity/Q7319325

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Languages Used

eng

Latn

Subjects

Targeted killing

World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns

Operation Vengeance, 1943

World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives

Nationalities

Americans

Activities

Occupations

Mayors

Pilots

Soldiers

Insurance agents

Justice of the peace

Legal Statuses

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Oregon

OR, US

AssociatedPlace

Death

Culver

OR, US

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Birth

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<conventionDeclaration><citation>VIAF</citation></conventionDeclaration>

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Identity Constellation Identifier(s)

w6r247cp

62841019