Barnett, Samuel L., TSgt

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Last Rank
Technical Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 748-Airplane Mechanic-Gunner, Flight Engineer
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1942-1943, AAF MOS 748, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1941 - 1943
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Technical Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Barnett, Samuel L., TSgt.

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
353rd Bomb Squadron
St. Donat. Algeria

Casualty Date
Aug 17, 1943
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Rhone, France
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot A, Row 3, Grave 10

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

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

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Flight Engineer Badge
Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy301st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1941-1942, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 748, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1943, AAF MOS 748, 301st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1943, AAF MOS 748, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Egypt-Libya Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1943-1943 Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)/Operation Strangle
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1942-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Samuel Lester Barnett was born in Kansas on October 27, 1917. He was the son of Lester and Adele Barnett. The US Census 1920 and US Census 1930 both show the family in Rovohl, Kansas. Although born in Rexford, Kansas, Barnett moved (with his parents) to Colby, Kansas at less than 1 year of age. He graduated from Colby High School in 1937.

Barnett enlisted in Kansas on October 14, 1941 as a private in the Army Air Forces. The enlistment papers confirm nativity and birth year, plus state he had completed 4 years of high school. He was employed as a farm hand.

Selected for flight status, he was trained as both an aerial gunner and a flight engineer. It is recorded that he flew 49 combat missions, but his date of overseas duty has not been found. On August 17, 1943, he acted as the flight engineer and top turret gunner for the Cunningham crew. The target area was German air fields in Southern France, in hope that this support would create indecision in the Luftwaffe concerning the deep raids to Regensburg and Schweinfurt.

No enemy aircraft came up to oppose the bomber formation, but the flak was intense and accurate. A shell hit the nose of the aircraft, killing most of the forward crew. The plane then exploded, falling in a mass of flaming wreckage.

The Germans reported 6 bodies were recovered from the wreckage. Three of the crew parachuted down safely, but were captured. The dead were all buried in a local cemetery, and retrieved after the war. Sam Barnett was moved to the American Cemetery in Draguiguan (Rhone) Cemetery, France where he lies in Plot A, Row 3, Grave 10.
US Census 1920
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
NARA Enlistment Records
Headstone Inscription and Interment Control Records


TSgt Samuel L. Barnett was acting as flight engineer and top turret gunner on B-17F # 42-30314, named "Beautiful Baby," assigned to the 353rd Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 407 was issued for this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew as:

1 Lt William J. Cunningham  p
2 Lt Lewis E. Howard  c-p
2 Lt Robert L. Michael  nav
2 Lt Milton W. Miller  bomb
TSgt Samuel Barnett  eng/tt gun
Sgt Harold J. Jacobson  r/o
SSgt Sebastian C. Smith  btg
SSgt Alvin W. Roberts  wg
TSgt Charles E. Van Buren  tail gun

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

Jacobson, Roberts, and Van Buren survived, only to be taken as POWs.

Service photo source:

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