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Barnes, Doyle Clayton

Date of birth:
April 5th, 1912 (Oeniville/Texas, United States)
Date of death:
August 2nd, 1942 (Eastern Solomons, Pacific)
American (1776 - present, Republic)


Doyle Clayton was born on April 5th 1912 in Oeniville, Texas. On October 20th 1933, he enlisted in the US Navy in Houston. On March 21st 1942 he was assigned as a Naval Aviator and commissioned Ensign on June 25th 1942.
After his training he was assigned to the Fighting Squadron Two (VF-2) on board the USS Lexington (CV-2). When the war started on December 7th 194, this unit was equipped with 16 Brewster F2A-3 Buffalos. Possibly Barnes might have started his career in one of these planes.
At this time Barnes was already 30 years old and therefore much older than most of his fellow airmen. Because of this, on Lexington he was nicknamed "Daddy". One of his other nicknames was "Tom".
From April 1st 1942 until April 26th 1942, he flew the Combat Air Patrol (CAP) with Fighting Six (VF-6) from USS Enterprise to cover the launch of the Doolittle Raid planes from USS Hornet (Raid itself was on April 18th 1942).
Later that month he and his friend Tom Cheek were temporary assigned to the USS Saratoga and its Fighting Three (VF-3), under the command of the legendary Lieutenant Commander John S. "Jimmy" Thach.
After the sinking of the USS Lexington on May 8th 1942, Barnes was transferred to the USS Yorktown (CV-3). He boarded the ship on May 30th, just before the start of the Battle of Midway.
Barnes was assigned to Fighting Three (VF-3) as a part of the Air Group-5. Here Barnes was assigned to the F4F-4 Wildcat, F-17, BuNo 5142. During the Battle of Midway, Barnes was credited for shooting down two Japanese torpedo planes. For his part in the Battle, Barnes was awarded the Navy Cross.
After the loss of the USS Yorktown, Barnes was assigned to VF-6 on board the USS Enterprise. In August 1942 he flew during the Invasion of Guadalcanal.
On August 24th 1942, during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, Barnes didnít return from his flight and was reported "Missing in Action". On August 25th 1942 he was officially declared dead. By then Barnes was credited for shooting down three enemy planes. Because his body has never been found, Barnes is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing, at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila on the Philippines. He was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.

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Second World War (1939-1945)
Fighting Squadron 3 (VF-3), U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-3), U.S. Navy
"For extraordinary heroism as pilot of an airplane of a Fighting Squadron in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of Midway on 4 June, 1942. Launched from his carrier to intercept an incoming assault by the Japanese torpedo planes, Ensign Barnes faced an attack so fully developed that, by the time he took off from the flight deck, the ship's 5-in guns were already blasting their fire at the attacking enemy craft. Despite a tremendous anti-aircraft barrage from our ships, he pressed home immediate and vigorous counter-attacks against the Japanese force, shooting down two torpedo planes. His aggressive skill and courage, devotion to duty, maintained by great risk against overwhelming odds, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Navy Cross