U.S. Air Force 1942–1945
George “Ray” Barnes was born in Portland, Maine, and grew up in Boston. Always interested in flying, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps at the age of 19. At first he trained as an airplane mechanic at Turner Field, Georgia, but volunteered to be an air gunner. He was then sent to B17 training school in Avon Park, Florida. Overseas he was assigned to Blasingbourn Airbase as a member of the 323 Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. From there he flew 35 missions over Europe and, although he had many close calls, was never wounded.