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427th Barker Crew
John C. Barker, Pilot
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JOHN C. BARKER CREW - 427th BS
(Assigned 427BS: 26 July 1943)
(Upgraded from CoPilot, with six different Pilots, to Pilot: 25 November 1943)


Pickup crewmen utilized by Lt John C. Barker's four missions as 1st Pilot:

  • CoPilots: F/O Kenneth A. Hoeg (83, 86); Lt Elton L. Jenkins (88); Lt Wille C. Cotham (90)
  • Navigators: Lt Kenneth L. Olsen (83, 86); Lt Nicholas J. Goldschmidt (88); Lt Edward F. Eccleston (90)
  • Bombardiers: Lt Ernest L. Cronin (83, 86), Lt Robert W. Meagher (88, 90)
  • Engineers: T/Sgt Charles E. Walsh (83, 86, 88, 90)
  • Radio Operators: T/Sgt Leonard E. Ratliff (83, 86, 88, 90)
  • Ball Turret Gunners: S/Sgt Frederick B. Knight (83, 86, 88, 90)
  • Right Waist Gunners: S/Sgt Joe J. Keaton (83, 86); S/Sgt Michael Musache (88, 90)
  • Left Waist Gunners: S/Sgt Robert H. McGrew (83, 86, 88, 90)
  • Tail Gunners: S/Sgt Coster R. Vateckas (83, 86, 88, 90)

Lt John C. Barker combat missions:
Lt Barker was an original 427th BS Capt Glenn E. Hagenbuch Crew CoPilot when it was formed in the USA for the October 1942 trip to Molesworth, England

Twenty CoPilot missions:
Capt Glenn E. Hagenbuch crew - Eight missions (5, 10, 11, 15, 17, 19, 23, 47)
1Lt Donald E. Stockton crew - Six missions (27, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35)
Five other Pilots - Six missions (69, 71, 72, 73, 78, 87)

Four 1st Pilot missions:
83 (26 Nov 1943), 86 (AS), 88 & 90 (20 Dec 1943). Upgraded from Co Pilot to Pilot on orders dated 25 November 1943. Completed 25 mission combat tour on 20 December 1943.
For mission dates and targets see the missions list.

Mission incident:
Mission #35, 14 May 1943 to Kiel, Germany, Capt Donald E. Stockton, pilot of B-17F 41-24619 S for Sugar, an original 427th BS Pilot on his 24th combat mission, was hit in his right side by German fighter 20mm shells. He fell over the controls and died. The B-17 went into a steep dive. 2Lt John C. Barker (CP) and T/Sgt Roy Q. Smith (E) gained control of the Fortress and brought it back into formation. A very sad crew brought Capt Stockton's body back to Molesworth. He is buried in the Cambridge, England American Cemetery.

[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]