James Fraser AWMM
Also known as
J. Fraser Barron AWMM
- NZ401749 AWMM
- WWII 401749 AWMM
- WWII 401749 AWMM
Medals and Awards
- Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and bar (DSO*) AWMM
DSO: NZ Gazette, 6 May 1944. Citation: "One night in February 1943, this officer was captain of an aircraft detailed to attack Cologne. When nearing the target area his aircraft was held in a cone of searchlights and subjected to heavy fire from ground defences. Despite this, Flight Lieutenant Barron remained on his course, defying an intense and concentrated barrage and pressed home a successful attack on his second run over the target." (Haigh & Polaschek, p300)
DSO Bar: NZ Gazette, 23 June 1944. Citation: "One night in May 1944, this officer participated in an attack on an airfield at Nantes. By his appreciation of the responsibilities entrusted to him and the skill and precision with which he executed his attack, Wing Commander Barron contributed in a large measure to the success achieved. Since being awarded the Distinguished Service Order, this officer has taken part in many attacks on dangerous and difficult targets. He is an outstanding captain whose example of skill, bravery and determination has impressed all." (Haigh & Polaschek, p300) AWMM
- Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) AWMM
- Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) AWMM
- 1939-1945 Star AWMM
- Air Crew Europe Star AWMM
- Defence Medal AWMM
- War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
- New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
James Barron was the son of James Barron, and of Winifred Ellen Barron (nee Fraser), of Palmerston, Otago.
Barron was one of 55 New Zealanders to join the Royal Air Force's Pathfinder Force (RAF PFF) in 1942.
On one particular mission, Barron was flying a Stirling, one of the first four-engined aircraft, through appalling weather to raid the factories of the Ruhr. Long before they reached their target, their bomb circuit was wrecked by flak. This made it impossible to release the 5000lbs of bombs in the bomb-racks and only those under the wings could be dropped. On the flight back to Britain, deteriorating weather forced Barron to detour thousands of miles. The added distance, combined with the load of bombs created anxieties over fuel. Over the Channel Isles he discovered he had enough left for only ten more minutes' flying. Three of his engines cut out as he landed, without time for the customary circuit, at the first airport on England's southern coast. Every drop of fuel had gone. The flight had lasted nine hours and ten minutes. One minute or so more could have brought disaster.
Barron was promoted to Wing Commander in February 1944. He took command of 7 Squadron, Pathfinder Force, RAF at this time.
Barron described his crew as "the most wonderful chaps in the world." In a letter dated 6 March 1944, he wrote: "The only thing I was frightened of was that some day I would let them down and not be able to bring them home."
He died on a raid at Le Mans, France. AWMM
20 May 1944 AWMM
Age 23 AWMM
Date of death
Age at death
Place of death
Cause of death
Le Mans West Cemetery, Sarthe, France AWMM Plot 21. Row C. Joint grave 20. AWMM
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James Fraser Barron
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1942). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 5 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1941 to 30 September, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
- Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
- The Weekly News AWMM
- Thompson, H. (1956). New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vols. 1-3). Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
- Stowers, R. (2009). Bomber Barron: Wing Commander James Fraser Barron, DSO & Bar, DFC, DFM, Pathfinder Pilot. Hamilton, N.Z.: Author. AWMM
|17 August 2016||Stephen||Atherton, England||Researcher||
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