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 • Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
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SSgt Robert Walter Barker
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Birth: Sep. 21, 1921
Worcester County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Aug. 5, 1943, England

Robert Walter Barker was my one and only Uncle. He was born in Leominster MA in 1921. At about age 9, his father Clarence E Barker of Bangor Maine, left the family in 1930 in Leominster MA and returned home and remarried there the same year. Clarence left behind his wife Robella Bessette Barker, his son Robert Walter Barker age 9, and daughter Gloria Jeannette Barker age 2. Robella raised the children to ages 8 and 15. For some unknown reason, the children were left with Robella's sister Aurora Bessette O'Donnell and her husband John O'Donnell, who had no children of their own. John and Aurora could not keep the children and the State removed them from the Aunt and Uncle's home about 1936. Robert was placed in foster care in Brockton MA , until age 18 and Gloria was in several different foster homes until age 18. I do not believe that Robert ever saw his sister again, as Gloria was 15, a minor still in foster care, when she lost Robert in 1943. Gloria was my mother. Robert attended 3 years of high school in Brockton. He worked as a janitor at Danvers State Hospital until 1942.

On 14 August 1942 at age 21, Robert joined the US Army Air Force from Swampscott MA. On 05 August 1943 Robert's plane, a B17F, Flying Fortress, crashed into the sea off the Coast of England, the crew of 10 were never found. The pilot was lost in bad weather and radio'd in, and HOH was received, that must have meant SOS. They were lost over 2 hours, a search party was sent to look for them. They ran out of fuel. The plane was not heard from again after that initial call but the search party did see the plane hit the water. There was no sign of life, the plane sunk quickly. To my knowledge no piece of plane or crew were ever recovered.

I am in the process of researching the crew of ten and linking them together here. I am also in a conversation with the Army to see about the possibility of making an attempt to recover the plane and crew.

Other Crew Members:
Pilot - 2nd Lieutenant Robert Emmett McNabb

I am in the process of requesting a marker for Robert in remembrance of his sacrifice, to place with Gloria's Gravestone, Robert was Gloria's only brother and only family she had left when he was lost to her, Gloria was 15 years old at the time. Hopefully, the siblings will be reunited finally, even if in spirit only.

Robert Walter Barker
S SGT US Army Air Force
WWII Lost at Sea
28 Sep 1921 - 05 Aug 1943
Loving Brother 
Note: Entered the service from Swampscott Massachusetts.
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
South Cambridgeshire District
Cambridgeshire, England
Plot: Tablets of the Missing
Maintained by: Phantom Plot Picster (AK...
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56287568
SSgt Robert Walter Barker
Added by: Phantom Plot Picster (AKA Mary)
SSgt Robert Walter Barker
Added by: geoffrey gillon
SSgt Robert Walter Barker
Added by: Phantom Plot Picster (AKA Mary)
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You are remembered with love
- Gene Baumwoll CSW
 Added: Apr. 18, 2014
Thank you for your World War II service and your Ultimate Sacrifice for our country, Sergeant Barker! May you rest in eternal Heavenly peace! You have certainly earned it!
 Added: Jan. 18, 2014
We shall never forget....
- Andy Swinnen
 Added: Jan. 13, 2013
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