Died Oct. 8, 1986.
John DeForrest Barker was born at St Albans, Vt., in 1897. After attending Norwich University in Vermont he was mustered into federal service as a private with the Vermont National Guard in June 1916.
He enlisted in the Aviation Section of the Signal Reserve in December 1917 and was assigned to the School of Military Aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received ground school training. Two months later he went to Camp Dick, Texas, for service with the 18th Squadron. In April 1918 he transferred to Call Air Force Base, Texas, for flying training and on July 16, 1918, was appointed a temporary second lieutenant in the Air Service.
He then served for one month at Camp Dick, after which he transferred to the student officers' detachment at Love Air Force Base, Texas.
He joined the Third Observation Group at France Field, Panama Canal Zone, in March 1918 and the following November was assigned to the Fifth Aero Squadron at that station for flying duty. He became marine transportation officer for the Seventh Aero Squadron at France Air Force Base in May 1920 and subsequently was named post personnel adjutant in addition to his other duties.
On July 1, 1920 he received his Regular Army commission as a second lieutenant of Air Service and that same date was promoted to first lieutenant.
From September 1922 to December 1923 he served as adjutant of the 25th Bombardment Squadron at France Field after which he returned to the United States for assignment to Phillips Air Force Base, Md.
In July 1926 he went to Washington, D.C. as chief of the Intelligence Section of the Information Division in the office of Chief of the Air Corps. Two years later he was placed in charge of the Publication Section of the Information Division.
In August 1929 he entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Langley Air Force Base, Va., from which he was graduated the following June. He then remained at Langley as secretary of the Air Corps Tactical School and later moved with the school to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. In August 1934 he entered the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and upon graduation in June 1930, returned to Langley as assistant to the assistant chief of staff for operations at General Headquarters Air Force.
He entered the Army War College in August 1937 and after graduation a year later became an instructor at the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth. In July 1940, he was assigned to the Operations and Training Division of the War Department General Staff at Washington, and in February 1942, was transferred to the Training Branch of the War Department General Staff. The following May he was named chief of the Training Branch.
Five months later he went to the European theater, where he was appointed assistant chief of staff for plans of the 12th Air Force. He later served in the North African theater and in June 1943, returned to the United States for assignment to the Theater Group in the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff.
In August of that year he was designed senior air instructor of the Army-Navy Staff College at Washington and the following November became a member of the Executive Administrative Section in the Theater Group of the War Department General Staff. He later became deputy chief for air of the Operations Division of the WDGS. In October 1945, he was assigned to the Air Force Personnel Distribution Command headquarters at Louisville, Ky., and the following March joined the U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
He returned to the United States in October 1947, for assignment to U.S. Air Force headquarters at Washington, and the following July became a member of the Joint Planning Group at that headquarters. Shortly afterward he was appointed deputy director of the group.
In August 1949, he became deputy commanding general of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
General Barker has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. He is rated a Command Pilot, Combat Observer, and Aircraft Observer.
He was promoted to captain (permanent) on Feb. 1, 1934; to major (temporary) on Aug. 26, 1936; to major (permanent) on July 1, 1940; to lieutenant colonel (temporary) on March 15, 1941; to colonel (temporary) on March 1, 1942; to lieutenant colonel (permanent) on Nov. 16, 1942; to brigadier general (temporary) on May 25, 1944; to major general (temporary) on Oct. 19, 1947; to major general (permanent) on June 11, 1948; with date of rank from May 15, 1944.