Barber, Ralph K., Sgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
12 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 0611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1944-1944, M 0611, 360th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1944

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Barber, Ralph K., Sgt.

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
360th Bomb Squadron
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Sep 28, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery - Portland, Oregon
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Veteran's Plot

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy360th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1943, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1944-1944, M 0611, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1944, M 0611, 360th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1944-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Ralph K. Barber was born in Portland, Oregon on February 15, 1924 to Leslie and Melissa J. Barber. US Census 1930 shows the family in Nehalem, Oregon while the US Census 1940 shows the family residing in Fairview, with Melissa noted as "widowed."

Barber enlisted on December 14, 1942. After basic training and instruction as an aerial gunner, he was given additional combat crew training. He was deployed overseas, and assigned to a combat crew led by Lt Railing in England in August, 1944. He flew 9 credited missions with this crew.

On September 28, 1944, the crew was part of an attack on manufacturing plants in Magdeburg, Germany. The formation was attacked by numerous German fighters as it made the bomb run. Nine of eleven B-17s were shot down.

Barber's aircraft was still in formation and under control, then a fire broke out and engulfed the right wing. German records state it plunged into the ground and exploded near the target area. Germans recovered 7 bodies from the site; 5 identifiable and 2 unknown. (The other two must have been retrieved later as they were all accounted for after the war.) The dead were buried in separate graves in the cemetery at Schladen. Barber was buried in what records show as "Grave 1089."

His body was retrieved after the war and returned to the US where he was buried in Lincoln Memorial Park in Portland, Oregon. His grave is in a section known as Veteran's Plot. report/248.pdf crews
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Application for Headstone or Marker (completed by cemetery superintendent, 9-1-1949


Sgt Ralph K. Barber was the assigned tail gunner on B-17G # 43-38672, unnamed, assigned to the 360th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 9409 covers this loss. Mission loading lists state the crew was:

2 Lt Charles F. Railing  p
2 Lt Howard D. McCarl  c-p
2 Lt Meyer Leibovitz  nav
2 Lt Louis H. Willson  bomb
SSgt James B. Mellon, Jr  eng/tt gun
SSgt William M. Hanna  r/o
Sgt  Lawrence L. Burgeson  btg
Sgt  Lorne R. Cole  waist gunner
Sgt  Ralph K. Barber  tail gun

Note: Grades and ranks as of mission date.

Note: All crew members perished.

In the crew photo, Barber is in the front row, at right.

Service photo source:

Copyright Inc 2003-2011