CEF Soldier Detail

Lieutenant-Colonel William George Barker
Died: March 12, 1930

Regimental Number:
106074
Survived War:
Yes
Force:
Air Force
Regiment:
Royal Flying Corps
Battalion:
201st Squadron
Company:
Place of Birth:
Dauphin, Manitoba
Country:
Canada
Next of Kin:
G.W.J. Barker, Father, Dauphin, Manitoba
Address at Enlistment:
Date of Birth:
November 3, 1894
Trade or Calling:
Student
Marital Status:
Single
Prior Military Experience:
Yes
Place of Enlistment:
Brandon, Manitoba
Date of Enlistment:
December 1, 1914
Age at enlistment:
20
Height:
5 Feet 10 Inches
Chest:
37 1/2 Inches
Expansion:
3 Inches
Religion:
Wesleyan
Enlisted or Conscripted:
Enlisted
Saw service in:
Europe    
Cause of Death:
Survived
Battle Died/Wounded:
Date of Death:
March 12, 1930
Age at Death:
35
Buried at:
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario
Plot:
Commemorated:
 
Prisoner of war:
No
Interned:
Gender:
Male
Ethnic Origin:
Caucasian
LAC Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 435 - 47
Rank Regiment Unit Company
Lieutenant-Colonel Royal Flying Corps 201st Squadron
Second Lieutenant Royal Flying Corps 4th Squadron
Second Lieutenant Royal Flying Corps 15th Squadron
Observer Royal Flying Corps 9th Squadron
Private Canadian Infantry 1st Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles
Trooper Canadian Infantry 1st Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles

Barker joined the Canadian Mounted Rifles in December 1914. He spent a year in the trenches before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in April 1916. After starting out as a mechanic, he qualified as an observer in August 1916 and shot down his first enemy aircraft from the rear seat of a B.E.2d. Posted to England in November 1916, he soloed after 55 minutes of dual instruction and received a pilot's certificate in January 1917. A month later, he was back in France flying an R.E.8 until wounded by anti-aircraft fire on 7 August 1917. When he recovered, he served as a flight instructor before returning to combat duty in France. In November 1917, his squadron was reassigned to Italy where Barker's Sopwith Camel became the single most successful fighter aircraft of the war. Logging more than 379 hours of flight time, Barker shot down 46 enemy aircraft before Camel #B6313 was retired from service and dismantled on 2 October 1918. That month, he assumed command of the air combat school at Hounslow. Deciding he needed to brush up on air combat techniques for his new assignment, Barker joined 201 Squadron for ten days in France. During that time, he saw no action and was about to return to England when he decided to make one more excursion over the front. On 27 October 1918, alone and flying a Sopwith Snipe, he encountered sixty Fokker D.VIIs flying in stepped formation. In an epic battle with Jagdgeschwader 3, Barker shot down four enemy aircraft despite appalling wounds to both legs and his elbow. Fainting from pain and loss of blood, he managed to crash land his Snipe within the safety of the British lines. For his actions that day, Barker received the Victoria Cross (VC).

Wikipedia entry

Aerodrome entry

 

Awards and Decorations
Croix de Guerre (France)
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Order First Bar
Mentioned in Despatches & 'A' List
Mentioned in Despatches & 'A' List - 2nd Mention
Mentioned in Despatches & 'A' List - 3rd Mention
Military Cross
Military Cross First Bar
Military Cross Second Bar
Silver Medal for Military Valeur (Italy)
Victoria Cross
TypeDateDescription
Newspaper Extract 9/25/1918 Six Nurses Win Military Medal