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RG0747.AM:  Dale F. Barr

Papers:  1941-1945

Grand Island, Hall County, Nebraska:  World War II tail gunner

Size:  One reel of microfilm


On December 30, 1941, 132 young men from the Grand Island area were sworn into the U.S. Army Air Corps as airplane mechanics. Fifteen days later, due to a mix up, these men arrived in Australia with no basic training to begin their service in the 403rd Bombardment Squadron. After training, the 403rd participated in several major campaigns, including Papua, New Guinea, the Bismarck Sea, Leyte, Luzon, and the Southern Philippines.

Dale F. Barr was one of the Grand Island men in the 403rd. He spent 32 months, beginning in March 1942, in Australia and New Guinea as a tail gunner on a B-17 and a B-24.


This collection consists of one reel of manuscript material arranged in three series: 1) Scrapbooks, 1941-1945; 2) Military Histories; and 3) Miscellany. This material relates to the experiences of the 403rd Bombardment Squadron and tail gunner Dale F. Barr in Australia and New Guinea during World War II.

The Scrapbooks of Series 1 include Barr’s photograph albums, compilations of military records, and newspaper clippings about his and the Squadron’s exploits. Barr has identified many of the individuals and scenes pictured.

Series 2 includes Military Histories of the 403rd Bombardment Squadron, the 13th Reconnaissance Squadron, the 5th Air Force, and the 43rd Bombardment Group.

The Miscellany of Series 3 consists of a few loose photographs.

Copies of many of the photographs in this collection are available in the photo component of the collection (RG0747.PH).


Series 1 – Scrapbooks, 1941-1945

Reel 1


  1. Photo Album

  2. Photo Album

  3. Photo Album

  4. Photo Album

  5. “Memoirs”

  6. Newspaper Clippings

Series 2 – Military histories


  1. 403rd Squadron History

  2. 403rd Bombardment Squadron Official Lineage

  3. 13th Reconnaissance Squadron Diary, 1941-1943, (parts illegible)

  4. 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group and 403rd Bombardment Squadron Write-Ups

  5. 403rd Bombardment Group Official Awards

  6. Veterans of 403rd Bomb Squadron

  7. Down Under – Memento of the heavy bombardment groups in the Southwest Pacific

Series 3 – Miscellany


  1. Captain Jack’s Original Crew

  2. Rabaul

  3. Warships in Rabaul Harbor

  4. American ship

  5. Barr Family, 1945


Subject headings:

Barr, Dale F.

Military history, modern — 20th Century

Soldiers — Grand Island (Nebraska)

United States. 5th Air Force — History

United States. 13th Reconnaissance Squadron — History

United States. 43rd Bombardment Group — History

United States. 403rd Bombardment Squadron — History

World War, 1939-1945

World War, 1939-1945 — Aerial operations

World War, 1939-1945 — New Guinea


Revised TMM      04-17-2007