120th birthday of William George Barker, Canadian flying ace and Victoria Cross recipient

This is basically unrelated to Kingston history, but the Bishop-Barker Company took several really nice aerial shots of Kingston (and other cities) in 1919, for example the one seen at the top of the Queen’s Encyclopedia webpage. You can see others by doing an image search for “Kingston from an aeroplane” on Library and Archives Canada; most of the photos are by Bishop-Barker. If I’m not mistaken Billy Bishop flew the plane and Billy Barker took the pictures. I might do a post highlighting these photos, which are among my favourites of Kingston. I’m sad to learn Barker had such a short life!

Library and Archives Canada Blog

November third marked the 120th anniversary of the birth of William George Barker, Canadian First World War flying ace and Victoria Cross recipient. One of Canada’s most renowned fighter pilots and the most decorated serviceman in the history of the British Commonwealth, Barker shot down 50 enemy aircraft during the First World War.

Major William G. Barker, 1918. Major William G. Barker, 1918 (MIKAN 3623168)

Barker was born in Dauphin, Manitoba on November 3, 1894. He enlisted in the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles in December 1914 and arrived in France in September 1915 where he served as a machine gunner. In early 1916, Barker transferred to 9 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He transferred to 15 Squadron in July and shot down his first enemy aircraft from the rear of a B.E.2 aircraft. He was awarded the Military Cross in the concluding stages of the Battle of…

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