Battle of Britain London Monument – F/Lt. J G C Barnes

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – F/Lt. J G C Barnes


John Guy Cardew Barnes was born on 1st March 1911 and educated at Windlesham Preparatory School, Bradfield College and l’Ecole de Commerce, Lausanne, Switzerland.

In 1930 Barnes went to New York and studied banking at Columbia University. Whilst in New York, he taught modern harmony piano playing and wrote songs on Broadway. In 1940 and 1941 his song ‘My ACW2’ was published and broadcast on both sides of the Atlantic.



In 1935 Barnes returned to London and in 1937 he joined 600 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force at Hendon. He went to camp at Manston in August 1937, learned to fly and obtained his wings.

Barnes was called to full-time service on 24th August 1939 and served with 600 throughout the Battle of Britain.

In December 1940 he was posted to CFS Cranwell for an instructors course after which he was posted to the EFTS at Elmdon, now Birmingham Airport.

In early 1942 Barnes was promoted to Wing Commander and appointed OC Troops on the Queen Mary and in 1943 on the Queen Elizabeth.

In April 1944 Barnes was attached to the Invasion Planning Committee at Southampton. His job was to supervise and command an RAF special communications group that would take over and control Fighter Air Cover in the event of HMS Bulolo, the HQ ship, being sunk.

Following the invasion on 6th June Barnes spent a week on a destroyer half a mile off the French coast at Arromanches. Once the landings were fully established, the ship returned to Southampton.

In 1945 Barnes was with a Disarmament Wing in Germany, moving with the Army, collecting documents and technical material before it could be destroyed by the Germans.

Barnes was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Wing Commander.

He died in 1998.


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