Ben Butler Barnes

European Theater

Highest rank achieved: 1st Lt.

S/N: O-26355

Barnes was born in S. Dakota.

He was missing and determined to have died Dec. 5, 1944.
Honors: 2 Air Medals and a Purple Heart. (A.23 Info from West Point Records)

He was a West Point Cadet (13294) at Douglas. He had Basic at West Point. Later he was with the 361st Fighter Sqdn., 356th Fighter Grp. 8th A.F.

On a mission on Dec. 5, 1944 to the Berlin, Germany area, he was flying a P-51 D15 NA (S/N: 44-15169) to accompany a bombing run. As the bombers came off the target 40 plus enemy aircraft were seen. Combat took place between 1105 and 1120 hours northeast of Berlin, Eberswalde area. His wingman, John C. Lindsay, reported the following [see Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) #10810]:

“On the operational mission of 5 December 1944, I was flying Red #4 on Lt. Barnes’ wing. At approximately 1100 hours, we sighted a gaggle of 60 plus FW 190s flying a northwesterly direction. As we turned toward them, they swung to the right and started in a southeasterly course. At 1105, we attacked. My flight broke into elements; Lt. Barnes leading the second element and we started into a steep turn to the left at about 28,000 feet. Lt. Barnes then rolled into a right turn as though to go into an attack. At this time, I sighted five FW 190’s attacking from 5 o’clock and called Lt. Barnes to break and he also called me to break. I broke to the right and down and three FW 190’s followed me. Lt. Barnes and I became separated at this time. I continued my battle with the three FW 190’s for about five (5) minutes and when I had shaken the last one, the battle was about over and my plane was suffering from battle damage so I set course for home.”