John F. Barry

No photo available.
No photo available.
NAME:
John F. Barry
NICKNAME:
SERVICE NUMBER:
286878
HOME OF RECORD:
Unknown
NEXT OF KIN:
Unknown
DATE OF BIRTH:
Unknown
SERVICE DATES:
7/3/1940 – 2/1947
DATE OF DEATH:
CAMPAIGN UNIT MOS RATE RESULT
Guadalcanal G/2/5 PFC  
Bougainville G/2/5 Corporal  
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS:
LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private First Class

Little is known of John Barry’s life before or after the war.

He joined the Marine Corps in July 1940, trained at Parris Island, and was stationed as a guard at Portsmouth Naval Prison when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Swiftly transferred to a combat unit – Company G, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines – Barry was promoted to corporal in April, 1942, and within a few months was on his way to the South Pacific as a member of the First Marine Division. En route, he fell afoul of the Corps’ standards of decency – Barry was caught creating a disturbance “under the influence of intoxicating liquor” – and was busted down a rank; he landed on Guadalcanal in August, 1942, as a private first class.

Barry participated in some of the heaviest fighting of the Solomon Islands campaign. Though he seems to have done his duty, those in charge of promotions had a long memory, and Barry would not regain his corporal’s stripe until the first months of 1944, by which time he was also a veteran of the Bougainville campaign. Once again, some infraction caused  a loss of rank – and this time was accompanied by a transfer to the 6th Base Depot. For Barry, this was a blessing – his regiment was encamped on infamous Pavuvu, while the Depot was on nearby, civilized Banika, and when they departed for the bloody invasion of Peleliu weeks later, he was not among them. The unknown indiscretion he committed may have saved his life.

PFC Barry became an MP with a series of service and supply units. He joined Charlie Company, 24th Marines as a machine gun squad leader shortly before the war ended, and saw no combat with them. Following the Japanese surrender, he joined up with the 17th Service Battalion, and remained in Hawaii until the early summer of 1946. A bout of illness saw him evacuated not just to the mainland but all the way to the Naval Hospital in St. Albans, New York; in July, Barry was transferred to the US Public Health Service Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. There he remained until his discharge in 1947.

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