Melvin E. Barber – Major, United States Army

 From a contemporary press report:

Melvin E. “Bud” Barber, 79, died on the morning of January 8, 2002, in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The funeral service, with full military honors, will be at the graveside in Arlington National Cemetery at 3 o'clock, Thursday, January 31, 2002. His nephew, the Rev. Douglas Meister will officiate.

Bud was born in Mansfield, Ohio, on June 8, 1922, the son of Fay and Helen Oglesbee Barber. A graduate of Madison High School, he excelled in football and still holds the school record for longest interception.

During World War II, he served in the 44th Tank Battalion. He landed with the first troops in Leyte and his tank battalion was one of the first to reach the prison camp to free the survivors of the Bataan death march. He was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery in the fighting and received a battlefield commission.

After the war he remained in the Army reserves retiring after 26 years with the rank of Major. At the time of his retirement, he was commander of an ordinance group in Marion, Ohio. He had also led the 865th Engineering Group prior to his last assignment.

Bud attended the Ohio State University. He retired as general superintendent of the Mansfield Asphalt Paving Co. after 40 years service. He was a past president of the County Association of Ohio Contractors. He served as a Richland County Central Committeeman and was active in the Ohio Democratic Party. He was a member of the First Christian Church in Mansfield and was a 32 degree Mason at Mansfield Lodge #35 AM and the Canton Ohio Shrine and a member of the American Legion.

Upon his retirement in 1993 he moved to Florida and later moved to Charleston, South Carolina, in 1995.

Major Barber is survived by his wife, Norma Howell Barber with whom he celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve. He is also survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Brad and Helen Barber of Columbus, Ohio, his daughter and son-in-law, Marta and George Bott of New Orleans, and Dr. Mickey Barber and her spouse, Dr. Mark Segal of Charleston, South Carolina. His five grandchildren, Brandt and Benjamin Barber, Chloe Bott, Cameron and Lindsay Segal also survive. He is also survived by his sister, Evadene O'Brien of Butler, Pennsylvania, and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Madeline Meister. Memorials are suggested to John Ancrum SPCA, 3861 Leeds Ave., Charleston, S.C. 29405.


  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 10/17/1942 – 06/08/1982
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 06/08/1922
  • DATE OF DEATH: 01/08/2002
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 01/31/2002

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