Warrant Officer Gordon Ross BARKER

Service No: 413941
Born: Arncliffe NSW, 20 June 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941
Unit: No. 454 Squadron, Berka III Landing Ground, Libya
Died: Air Operations (No. 454 Squadron Baltimore aircraft FW329), Aegean Sea, 22 February 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William and Jessie Barker, of Stanmore, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Earlwood NSW
Remembered: Column 281, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 105, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 21st February Squadron Leader Cashmore (1) found the Livenza (5,300 tons) in Milos Harbour and this started an enthusiastic general hunt to the death, because this ship was the enemy’s largest available supply ship in the area. It was fairly certain that it would not tarry at Milos, but on the 22nd, while one Baltimore went there to confirm that she had indeed sailed, other aircraft made a wide search. Warrant Officer D. H. McMurray (RNZAF) quickly reported a convoy of one merchant vessel and two naval escorts attended by several aircraft in a position 10 miles south of Folegandros in the Cyclades. He also saw two more escort vessels in Siros Harbour. The aircraft originally sent to Milos then also reported the convoy which thereafter was successfully shadowed by three more Baltimores sent out by No. 454 Squadron. The last of these, flown by Flight Sergeant Rawlings, failed to return and was presumably shot down by the enemy air escort which continued to grow in size throughout the day.

(1) Squadron Leader Victor Cashmore DFC (407165) was discharged from the RAAF on 18 October 1945

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 90

The crew members of FW329 were:

Warrant Officer Gordon Ross Barker (413941) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Thomas King (420798) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Douglas Henry Padman (415218) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Brian Edwin Rawlings (413504) (Pilot)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/448

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