Francis Stratford Barnes, Jr.


Attended Clemson during 1938-1939 school year and then transferred to the University of South Carolina where he graduated

Greenville, South Carolina

Parents - Mr. and Mrs. Francis S. Barnes

Army, Second Lieutenant

41st Infantry Division

Purple Heart

May 4, 1921

May 28, 1944

KIA - Killed in Action on Biak Island, New Guinea

Springwood Cemetery, Greenville, SC


Additional Information

Activities of the 41 Infantry Division at the time of Lieutenant Barnes’ death

The 41st Infantry Division arrived in Australia, 7 April 1942, and underwent intensive training.  On May 27, 1944, the US Army 41st Infantry Division landed on Biak Island and fierce fighting followed as most of the Japanese were entrenched in natural limestone caves and fortifications.  These entrenched troops fought an excellent defense, delaying the reopening of Mokmer Drome.

A tank versus tank battle occurred on Biak, when Japanese Type 95 Ha Go tanks attempted to attack the beachhead.  They were destroyed by US Army M4 Sherman tanks.  Casualties on Biak were 435 Americans KIA and 2,360 WIA.  The Japanese lost an estimated 6,125 KIA, with  460 POWs, and 360 Formosan POWs.

After finally securing the island, American developed southern Biak into a large airbase and staging area, coded APO 920.  Extracts from:

First Two Days in Parai Defile;  By K 162’s Charles F. Brockman with Dr. Hargis Westerfield, Division Historian   About 0900 on Biak D-Day, K Co 162 Inf’s T/5 Brockman watched from an LCI while 186 Inf landed first.  Diving low, B-24 heavy bombers shook Biak Island as they impacted.  While DUKWs of 641 TD and 121 FA followed 186 Inf ashore, 3 rocket-ships cleared the way with a swish of death.  At 1200 yards, our tanks impacted the 5 Nip tanks with their 75s while our Navy struck at them also.  These outranged Jap tanks with their little 37 mm cannon had only a small chance against our longer ranges, but they fought desperately.  Our Navy and tanks drove them into low ground while “I,” “K,” and “M” men slew their accompanying infantry.  In this fight, K’s 2/Lt Small had done well with his Pln in breaking the Jap attack.

Jap tank fire did succeed in damaging 3 tanks and wounding 3 crewmen.  One crippled tank had to withdraw.  Its .75 cannon had sustained a direct hit and was unfireable.  Perhaps about this time, K’s T/Sgt Rex Smith daringly led a 6-man patrol some 200 yards back into ground that “K” had given up during the infantry attack.  His men recovered weapons and other important equipment that had been left also bore back the corpse of 2/Lt Barnes.

On that 28 May, K 162 probably had our longest casualty list of World War II.  We lost 7 killed or dead of wounds, 21 wounding to hospital, 1 injured in action.  Dead were Kiberd, Richards, Binkley, Tanner, Walker, Jordan, and 2/LT Barnes.  Reported “lightly wounded” were Maley, Norton, White, Toolan, Gebhard, and S/Sgt Hillman.  Fifteen were marked “seriously wounded,” 3 of them NCOs – S/Sgt Leach, Sgt Chappelow, and Cpl Mathis.  Also “seriously wounded” were Almond, Dyson, Eberhard, Flower, Foley, Gill, Gunter, John Johnson, Kodelke, Magness Martinez, and Welch.  Leake was “lightly injured” and hospitalized. Written under dire combat conditions, this list may not be correct.

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Extra Documents

Son of Two Institutions – Vignette for The Echo written by Kelly Durham