Earl Walter Barnes – Lieutenant General, United States Air Force

Courtesy of Russell C. Jacobs: June 2007

Earl Walter Barnes (1902-1979)

Born in Crawford, Nebraska on August 23, 1902.

Commissioned in the Air Service from West Point in 1925. Graduated from Command and General Staff School in 1937.

Served with 31st, 52nd and 53rd Pursuit Groups August 1940-July 1942. Executive Officer of 26th Fighter Command July-November 1942.

Brigadier General in August 1943. Assistant Commandant of Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics November 1942-August 1943. Deputy Commander, the Commanding General of 13th Fighter Command August 1943-October 1945.

Assignments after the war included Commanding General of Thirteenth Air Force October 1945-January 1946, Deputy Commander of Tactical Air Command 1953-1956 and Chief of Staff of Far East Command 1956-1957. Retired as Lieutenant General in September 1957. Decorations included two distinguished Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross.  Died on May 23, 1979.

Courtesy of the United States Air Force

Retired September 1, 1957.  Died May 23, 1979

Earl Walter Barnes was born in Crawford, Nebraska, in 1902. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy on June 12, 1925 and commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Air Service.

That September General Barnes entered Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, and was graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas a year later and returned to Brooks Field as a flying instructor. That December he went to Fort Crockett, Texas for duty with the 60th Service Squadron, going to Duncan Field, Texas in June 1927 as a flying instructor and moving on to March field, California, in that capacity that August.

Assigned as engineering officer of the Seventh Observation Squadron at France Field, Panama Canal Zone in December 1930, a year later General Barnes moved to Albrook Field for duty with the 44th Observation Squadron. Going to Barksdale Field, Louisiana, in December 1932, the following month he assumed command of the 55th Pursuit Squadron there.

Entering the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Alabama, in August 1935, General Barnes graduated the following June. A month later he completed the Field Officers' Course at the Chemical Warfare School, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, and in June 1937 graduated from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He then returned to Maxwell Field as an instructor at the Air Corps Tactical School.

Joining the 31st Pursuit Group at Selfridge Field, Michigan, in August 1940, the following January General Barnes assumed command of the 52nd Pursuit Group there. That June he became commanding officer of the 53rd Pursuit Group at Dale Mabry Field, Tallahassee, Fla., taking it to Howard Field, Panama Canal Zone the following January. In July 1942 he was appointed executive officer of the 26th Fighter Command at Albrook Field. That November the general was designated assistant commandant of the Air Defense Department of the Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics at Orlando, Florida.

Going to the South Pacific in August 1943, General Barnes became deputy commander of the 13th Fighter Command, becoming commanding general in January 1944 and assuming command of the 13th Air Force, Philippine Islands in October 1945. The following January he was named director of the Air Command and Staff School, Air University at Maxwell Field, Alabama, becoming commandant on March 16, 1946.

Three years later General Barnes was appointed Air Force representative of the Weapons Evaluation Group, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C., becoming senior Air Force member, Military Studies and Evaluations Division, Weapons Evaluation Group, in May 1952.

Transferred to the Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va., in April 1953, General Barnes was designated deputy commander of TAC. On Feb. 27, 1956, he was appointed chief of staff, Far East Command, at Tokyo, Japan.

Reassigned on June 20, 1956, the general was assigned as chief of staff, Far East Command and chief of staff, United Nations Command, with duty station at Tokyo, Japan.

His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal with oak leaf cluster. He is rated a command pilot.

Lieutenant General, United States Air Force


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