June 5, 2009
Oren Barker - Pilot of P-38 in WW2- shot down

Oren Barker - Pilot of P-38 in WW2 - Shot down











RJ with Oren Barker.


Oren Barker enlisted in the Army Air Corp and served in the European campaign of World War II flying the P-38. The P-38 was called the "Lightning" by the Americans and the "Devil" by the Germans.


Oren grew up in Olympia and was very excited about learning how to fly. He was trained with the Stearman bi-planes which allowed him to learn how to do rolls and spins and to do some dog fighting. It wasn't long until Oren saw real combat with the super fast and deadly P-38. On his first combat mission over Belgium his P-38 was hit by flack in the gas tank. He is lucky his plane did not blow up. On one of the big battles in December 1944 Oren was shot down and ended up spending over two years in a hospital. He was knocked unconscious when he crashed, so he has no memory of the day he was shot down. But he was lucky that in one of the hospitals he met his future wife and they were married almost fifty years. I really enjoyed meeting Oren and interviewing him for the Library of Congress program called the Veterans History Project. We have volunteered to interview as many World War II vets for free as we can get. So if you know of a veteran from WWII, tell them to give me a call. After the war, Oren came back to the Northwest and worked in the insurance business for over 30 years. We are lucky to have had guys like Oren serve over there for us. He sacrificed a lot for all of us.

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