Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Earl

Last Name: Barnes

Birthplace: Crawford, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Walter

Date of Birth: 1902

Date of Death: 23 May 1979

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served:
Earl Walter Barnes

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Earl Walter Barnes
Lieutenant General, U.S. Air Force

Earl Walter Barnes was born in 1902 in Crawford, TX. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy on 12 June 1925, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S Army Air Service.

That September, Barnes entered Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, TX, and, a year later, he graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, TX. He then returned to Brooks Field as a Flying Instructor. In December 1926, he went to Fort Crockett, TX, for duty with the 60th Service Squadron. He was sent to Duncan Field, TX, in June 1927, as a Flying Instructor and, in August, was transferred to March field, CA, in that same capacity.

In December 1930, Barnes was assigned as Engineering Officer of the Seventh Observation Squadron at France Field, Panama Canal Zone. A year later, he moved to Albrook Field for duty with the 44th Observation Squadron. He transferred to Barksdale Field, LA, in December 1932; the following month he assumed command of the 55th Pursuit Squadron there.

He became a student at the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, AL, in August 1935, and graduated the following June. A month later, he completed the Field Officers' Course at the Chemical Warfare School, Edgewood Arsenal, MD, and, in June 1937, graduated from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, KS. He then returned to Maxwell Field as Acting Secretary, Air Corps Tactical School (with additional duties as Acting Officer-in-Charge of Library and Acting Officer-in-Charge of Book Department). A short time later, he became an Instructor in the Department of Air Tactics and Strategy, at the Tactical School.

Barnes joined the 31st Pursuit Group (Interceptor), at Selfridge Field, MI, in August 1940, as the Operations Officer and Intelligence Officer. The following January, he became Commanding Officer of the 52d Pursuit Group (Interceptor), at Selfridge. That June he became Commanding Officer of the 53d Pursuit Group (Interceptor) (later, 53d Fighter Group), at Dale Mabry Field, Tallahassee, FL; in January 1942, the unit moved to Howard Field, Panama Canal Zone. In July, he was appointed Executive Officer, 6th Fighter Command, at Albrook Field. That November the general was designated Assistant Commandant of the Air Defense Department, U.S. Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics, Orlando, FL.

He went to the South Pacific in August 1943 as Deputy Commander of the 13th Fighter Command at Espiritu Santo; the unit relocated to Guadalcanal in December. Barnes became Commanding General of the 13th Fighter Command in January 1944, and assumed command of the Thirteenth Air Force at Leyte, Philippine Islands, in October 1945. The following January, he was named Director of the Air Command and Staff School, Air University at Maxwell Field, AL; he became Commandant on 16 March 1946.

In 1949, Barnes was appointed Air Force representative of the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, DC, and he later became Senior Air Force member, of the Military Studies and Evaluations Division, Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, in May 1952.

Transferred to the Tactical Air Command (TAC) at Langley Air Force Base, VA, in April 1953, Barnes was designated TAC's Deputy Commander. On 27 February 1956, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Far East Command in Tokyo, Japan. On 20 June 1956, he took on additional duty as Chief of Staff of the United Nations Command, also in Tokyo. Barnes retired from active duty on 1 September 1957.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (2 Awards)


Command Pilot Badge

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General Earl Walter Barnes died on 23 May 1979. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 3259   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image