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James Fraser Barron

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Portrait from The Weekly News; 4 October 1944 - This image may be subject to copyright
Portrait from The Weekly News; 4 October 1944 - This image m … Read more

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    James Fraser AWMM
  • Surname
    Barron AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    J. Fraser Barron AWMM
  • Service number
    • NZ401749 AWMM
    • WWII 401749 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    9 January 1921 AWMM DunedinOtago AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status

Service

Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • 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

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Jul 1940 AWMM
    Age 19 AWMM
    Clerk AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Embarkations

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • 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
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    20 May 1944 AWMM
    Age 23 AWMM
    AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Le Mans West Cemetery, Sarthe, France AWMM Plot 21. Row C. Joint grave 20. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
    http://www.cwgc.org
    Sources Used
  • Documents
    • 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
      1944 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

Contributors

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DateNameLocationRelationshipContact
17 August 2016StephenAtherton, EnglandResearcher