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Rex Barber
Birth: May 6, 1917
Culver
Jefferson County
Oregon, USA
Death: Jul. 26, 2001
Terrebonne
Deschutes County
Oregon, USA

World War II United States Flying Ace. He has been credited with shooting down the bomber carrying Isoroku Yamamoto, the admiral of the entire Japanese fleet and mastermind behind the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and killing him on April 18, 1943. As a youth, he was fascinated by the stories told by his uncle Edgar King, who was a World War I pilot. He attended Linfield College and then Oregon State, majoring in agricultural engineering. Before he received his degree, he decided to enlist in the Army Air Corps in September 1940. The Lieutenant's first duty assignment was with the 70th Fighter Squadron at Hamilton Field, Calif. After the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the squadron was moved to Guadalcanal, where they used twin-engine Lockheed P-38 Lightnings. Then a coded message was intercepted, telling in detail the planned route and scheduled arrival for Yamamoto's flight to the island of Bougainville. Major John W. Mitchell then planned, led and chose four pilots, including Capt. Tom Lanphier and Barber, for the mission. And the group had to do it without any hint the Japanese code had been broken. Originally Lanphier and Barber each were given half-credit for the kill, but recent evidence shows Barber brought down the aircraft alone and unassisted. Barber flew 110 combat missions from Guadalcanal and after being transferred to China in early 1944, flew another 28. He was credited with five confirmed kills and three probables, plus the sinking of one destroyer. He was awarded the Navy Cross by Admiral Bull Halsey, two Silver Stars, a Purple Heart, numerous medals and ribbons. After the war, he was a test pilot for the Lockheed, P-80 Shooting Star, the country's first operational jet fighter. After more than 20 years, he retired from active Air Force duty as a colonel in 1961. In April 2003, the Oregon Legislature renamed the new bridge over the Crooked River on U.S. Highway 97 the Rex T. Barber Veterans Memorial Bridge. The span joins Jefferson and Deschutes counties where he lived before and after his military career. (bio by: Ron Coons) 
 
Burial:
Redmond Memorial Cemetery
Redmond
Deschutes County
Oregon, USA
Plot: Section L, Plot 548
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Ron Coons
Record added: Feb 07, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13262863
Rex Barber
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Rex Barber
Added by: Karen Budd
 
Rex Barber
Added by: Karen Budd
 
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- LawBaby
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