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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. F J Barker


Frederick James Barker was born in Bow, London on 16th March 1918 and attended Old Palace School and Coopers' Company School. He joined the RAFVR in April 1939 as an Airman u/t Wop/AG.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he joined 264 Squadron when it reformed on 30th October 1939.

He teamed up with Sgt. ER Thorn. Over Dunkirk on 28th May 1940 they destroyed three Me109's, the following day two Ju87s and a Me110 and on 31st May a He111 and another shared.

Barker was awarded the DFM (gazetted 14th June 1940).


Above: Barker entering his turret with Thorn at left.

When 264 Squadron moved south to Hornchurch on 21st August 1940, Thorn and Barker were again in action.

On the 26th they destroyed two Do17s and as they went for a third they were attacked by a Me109. With their aircraft damaged, Thorn spun down and prepared to make a crash-landing. At 500 feet the Me109 attacked again, this time setting the Defiant on fire. Before crashing, Barker shot the enemy fighter down and it crashed a short distance away.

Thorn and Barker escaped with slight injuries. For this action they were each awarded a Bar to the DFM (gazetted 11th February 1941).

They destroyed a He111 at night on 9th April 1941. This was He111-P2 G1+DN wr 1943 from 5./KG55, it came down at Shepherds Hanger, Busbridge, Surrey

Gefr. R Langans, Uffz. A Muller and Uffz. G Neumann were killed, Gefr. Heinrich Berg was taken prisoner. The incident is comprehensively described at:

The partnership broke up when Thorn was posted to 32 Squadron in October 1941.

Barker remained with 264 squadron until 1943. He was then posted to the Middle East as an air gunnery instructor.

He was commissioned in April 1944 and released from the RAF in 1946, as a Flying Officer.

Barker died on 18th September 2008 in Romford.



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