Rex T. Barber oral history interview
Fighter ace Rex T. Barber is interviewed by historian Bruce T. Porter about his military service with the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Barber describes his wartime experiences as a fighter pilot and his time with the 449th Fighter Squadron in the China-India-Burma Theater. Special focus on an incident in April 1944 in which Barber was injured during a bailout and spent several weeks evading Japanese troops with the help of Chinese guerillas.
Oral History Item Type Metadata
Rex T. Barber was born on May 6, 1917 in Culver, Oregon. He joined the United States Army Air Forces in 1940 and graduated from flight school the following year. Barber served two tours of duty during World War II, one in the Pacific Theater with the 70th Fighter Squadron and 339th Fighter Squadron and one in the China-India-Burma Theater with the 449th Fighter Squadron. During his first tour, he participated in the shoot-down of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s plane on April 18, 1943, known as Operation Vengeance. Barber remained in the military after the war and commanded the 29th Fighter Squadron and 27th Fighter Squadron. He retired as a colonel in 1961 and passed away in 2001.
Biographical information courtesy of: Boyce, Ward J., ed., American fighter aces album. Mesa, Ariz: American Fighter Aces Association, 1996.