Barnhill, Wilbur R., 1st Lt

 Service Photo   Service Details
View Time Line
Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1034-Navigator
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Officer)
Primary Unit
1943-1943, AAF MOS 1034, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1943
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Barnhill, Wilbur R., 1st Lt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Nov 26, 1943
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
North Sea
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Netherlands, Netherlands
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Walls of the Missing

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1943, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Navigator Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 1034, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 1034, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Wilbur R. Barnhill was born in Natchitoches, Louisiana in 1922, according to his NARA enlistment record. The 1930 US Census shows him living in Natchitoches with his parents, William E. and Mary L. Barnhill.

He enlisted on March 28, 1942 as a private in the Army Air Corps. His enlistment form shows he had completed 2 years of college (unnamed), and was employed as a semi-skilled inspector.

He was selected for navigator training, and when this course was completed, he was commissioned and assigned to the 303rd Bomb Group, located in Molesworth, England. He was further assigned to the combat crew led by Lt. A. A. Cote in April, 1943.

He flew 18 credited combat missions, 15 with Lt. Cote and the others with the Lipe crew and the Campbell crew. On November 26, 1943, he flew with the Cote crew on a raid on the city center of Bremen, Germany.

Just after bomb release, the aircraft fell out of formation, and was last seen west of Trexel Island, Holland. It was seemingly under control, not being attacked, with no visible damage, and observers state it crashed into the North Sea off Den Helder, Holland. The entire crew was killed, with only one body being recovered.

Lt. Barnhill is remembered on the Walls of the Missing at the American Cemetery at Margraten, Holland.
US Census 1930
NARA Enlistment Records


Lt Wilbur R. Barnhill was navigator on B-17F # 42-29955, named "Mr. 5 by 5," assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 1324 was issued to cover this loss, and mission lists agree that the crew on board was:

1 Lt Addell A. Cote    p
1 Lt Clarence C. Bixler   c-p
1 Lt Wilbur R. Barnhill    nav
1 Lt John W. Hull    bomb
TSgt John R. Arter    eng/tt gun
TSgt Vaughn Reaves    r/o
SSgt Cecil M. May    btg
SSgt John M. Micek    lwg
SSgt Theadore Gomes    rwg
SSgt Paul Gunsauls    tail gun

In the crew photo, Lt Barnhill is in the back row, 3rd from left.

Copyright Inc 2003-2011