Barrat, Robert J., 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1091-Pilot, B-17
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, AAF MOS 1091, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1945
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Barrat, Robert J., 2nd 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
Not Specified
Last Address
427th Bomb Squadron
Molesworth, England

Casualty Date
Feb 09, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Not Specified
World War II
Location of Interment
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery - St. Louis, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 82, Site 93D

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 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

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Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 1091, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 1091, 427th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1944-1945, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Robert J. Barrat was born in Chicopee, Massachusetts on February 14, 1924 as a son to Joseph and Ida M. Barrat. The US Censuses 1930 shows the family in Massachusetts while the 1940 place the family as living in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Barrat enlisted in the military on November 24, 1942 at Providence, Rhode Island. His enlistment documents state he had completed 1 year of college (unnamed,) and was employed as a Foreman.

He received pilot training and was awarded his commission and wings. In October, 1944, he was given a crew and became first pilot on a B-17 in England. He flew 20 missions with this crew, the first mission occurring on December 9, 1944.

On February 9, 1945, the target was the synthetic oil plants located at
Lutzkendorf, Germany. As the aircraft made the last turn onto the bomb run, it was struck by another B-17, shearing the tail assembly off from the waist gunner position to the tail. Somehow, the tail gunner got free and made a successful parachute landing, only to be captured by German civilians and turned over to authorities.

As the stricken ship was about to crash in the middle of the village of Eisenberg, somehow the pilot and co-pilot regained enough control to level out the bomber and head it at an empty field. The bomb load was successfully salvoed, and only one building was hit. The bomber hit the ground and exploded.

German records reveal that eight bodies were recovered from the wreckage; two were unidentifiable. All were buried in the Eisenberg Cemetery in grave rows 8 to 11. After the war ended, these bodies were recovered and returned to the U.S. to be buried in a mass common grave.

Lt. Robert J. Barrat and 5 of his crew members lie today in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri at Section 82, Site 93D.

In 1995, the townspeople of Eisenberg erected a monument to this crew and its heroic deeds. In 1991, more human remains were found as did rings belonging to  Barrat and the navigator.
US Schoolbooks 1880-1902, 1941 senior play crews
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
NARA Enlistment Records


Lt Robert J. Barrat was the assigned pilot of B-17G # 43-39149, no name , assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 12229 documents this event. Mission loading lists show the crew consisted of:

2 Lt Robert J. Barrat  p
2 Lt Dean Harvey  c-p
F/O Shirl P. Best  nav
Sgt  William t. Karp  tog
Sgt  Raymond F. Reiss  eng/tt gun
Sgt  Matthew Lazarowicz  r/o
Sgt  Louis N. Linhart  btg
Sgt  Herbert D. Link  wg
Sgt  George H. Emerson  tail gun

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

Emerson was the only survivor.

In the crew photo of November, 1944, Barrat is in the back row, 3rd from left.

Service photo source: crews

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