View Full Version : Canada William Barker Victoria Cross WW1

07-30-2009, 07:22 PM
How he received The Victoria Cross

As he climbed into the clear air he spotted a large German aircraft over the lines doing reconnaissance of the area. He couldn't resist and went up after it over La Foret de Mormal. He caught up to it at 22,000 feet and found the crew to be very good. They easily manouevered to keep the rear gunner in position to fire at Barker, and he hit the Snipe several times. Using his deadly accuracy Barker circled away and came back at the plane and shot the gunner dead from 200 yards. Now he closed in for the kill and hit some vital components. The plane broke up and the pilot had a long drop to his death. But Barker made a mistake, like Richthofen and others, he became so involved in the fight that he didn't spot the Fokker DVII biplane climb up behind him. The first he knew about the other German aircraft was when an explosive bullet shattered the femur of his right leg. He immediately banked left, and began a circling fight with the Fokker. They lost considerable height before the Snipe outcircled the Fokker and Barker fired a burst into its gas tank, igniting the whole plane. However, Billy Barker's troubles were just being. He had dropped into the upper Jasta of an entire "circus" made up of nearly 60 Fokkers. They attacked from all sides and directions. The tiny Snipe was being chewed to shreds and he was hit in the left thigh. He fought back valiently, driving down two Fokkers in spins. Fainting from pain and blood loss his airplane fell out of control for several thousand feet. The rushing air revived him, and he halted his fall but he found that he had spun down into the middle Jasta. The fight started all over again, with his Snipe being shot up from all around. In despiration he picked out a nearby Fokker and charged it, firing all the time. Just as he reached the other aircraft it blew apart and fell away. His left elbow was hit by a bullet and shattered. Again he fainted from pain and shock and the Snipe fell into a spin. He fell a long ways this time but eventually came to and managed somehow to pull out of his dive and got onto the tail of a Fokker in the lower level Jasta. He shot it down in flames. He headed for the Allied lines but was intercepted by a German flight. He charged at them and broke up their formation and turned again for the lines. His gas tank was shot away from under his seat and, amazingly, did not catch on fire. He had just enough strength to flip on a small reserve tank of fuel. He headed down as fast as the Snipe would go, nearly out of control and crashed at top speed, flipping the tough, little airplane onto its nose. Members of a Highland regiment pulled him from the wreckage and were amazed to find him alive. Thousands of British soldiers, including Canada's General Andrew McNaughton, had watched the whole fight and were cheering lustily as Barker obviously beat the entire German circus.

He remained unconscious for several days in No. 8 General Hospital in Rouen. He received congratulatory telegrams from the King, the Prince of Wales, and Lord Hamilton in Italy. On November 20, 1918 he was awarded the Victoria Cross and was again inundated with congratulations, from Prime Minister Borden, the Canadian General Staff and the one that meant the most to him, from Lt-Col. Billy Bishop.

He is officially credited with one captured, two (and seven shared) balloons destroyed, 33 (and two shared) aircraft destroyed, and five aircraft "out of control;" the highest "destroyed" ratio for any RAF, RFC or RNAS pilot during the conflict.The Overseas Military Forces of Canada recognized Barker as "holding the record for fighting decorations" awarded in the First World Wa

Amazing accounts of his actions http://www.constable.ca/caah/barker.htm

07-31-2009, 11:48 PM
holy shit is all I could think while reading that.
I can't even imagine what that would be like ..and to survive it all on top of it

08-01-2009, 01:34 AM
Now you know why he was submitted. Tough SOB. Imagine what it must have been like back then. Fucking crazy.