FULL NAME:

Harold G. Barkley

ARMY SERIAL NUMBER (ASN):

36695751

  • DATE OF BIRTH: March 1, 1925
  • DATE OF DEATH: June 14, 2011
RESIDENCE (DURING WWII)

Quincy, Adams County, Illinois

DATE / PLACE OF ENLISTMENT
  • DATE OF ENLISTMENT:
    Oct 20, 1943
  • PLACE OF ENLISTMENT:
    Camp Grant, Illinois
ORGANIZATION
  • MAIN UNIT:
    38th Infantry Regiment
  • SUBUNIT:
    Company G, 2nd Battalion
RANK / POSITION IN UNIT (LAST KNOWN)
  • RANK:
    Private First Class (Pfc.)
  • POSITION IN UNIT:
    1st Scout
BATTLES AND CAMPAIGNS

✭ Normandy Campaign (6 June – 24 July 1944), ✭ Northern France Campaign (25 July – 14 September 1944), ✭ Ardennes-Alsace Campaign (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945), ✭ Rhineland Campaign (15 September 1944 – 21 March 1945), ✭ Central Europe Campaign (22 March – 11 May 1945)

DECORATIONS AND CITATIONS (AWARDS)

🎖Bronze Star Medal, 🎖Good Conduct Medal, 🎖European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, 🎖WWII Victory Medal, 🎖Distinguished Unit Citation, 🎖Honorable Service Lapel Button, 🎖Combat Infantry Badge, 🎖Purple Heart Medal With One Oak Leaf Cluster

SUMMARY OF HIS SERVICE

Harold G. Barkley trained at Camp Wolters, Texas, November 1, 1943 - March 1944; Processed for overseas at Fort Meade, Maryland, then to port of embarkation at New York. Sailed April 7, 1944 on SS Ile de France; arrived at Scotland April 14, 1944, and took train to England. First camp was possibly in Wales but then sent farther south to "Wind Whistle Hill" between Chard and Yeovil. On June 7, 1944, shipped out from Southampton on a British ship and came ashore on Omaha Beach on June 9. Others were Elmer Antonelli, Anthony Bartas, Ralph Barrella, Frank Balchunas, Bill Dudas, John Savard. He may have been one of the over-strength for 2nd Inf. Div. as he and others were quickly marched inland where he and several of his group were assigned to Second Battalion, 38th Infantry. Barkley was assigned to Company G, 38th Infantry, on June 12. Although trained as an anti-tank gunner, he was given a Thompson submachine gun, boxes of bullets and several magazines and told he was now a scout. .... His platoon sergeant was T/Sgt. Norman Blackmore; his squad leader was S/Sgt. John Boback; others of his squad at that time were Joe Guajardo, Joe Benavidez, ____ Hoernke, Ray Simcik and he remembered Sgt. Wayne Parker who was a good leader. Blackmore was a great combat leader. As scout, Barkley participated on numerous patrols and was in many engagements, including the battles for Hill 192. He was wounded on July 27,1944, as mentioned earlier. .... After recovery he rejoined Company G in time for the 2nd Battalion's Paris train guard stint before rejoining the division on the Siegfried Line..... During the Battle for Heartbreak Crossroads he witnessed men being gunned down and blown up in the barbed wire before the pillboxes -- a source for later nightmares. He was involved in the terrible battles for the Twin Villages, being wounded late on December 19, 1944, as stated in the "Wounds Received" section. After recovery he was diagnosed as combat exhaustion and was re-assigned to a Railway Operating Battalion with which he served for the duration of the war, but resulting in receiving Central European Campaign credit. Others he recalled of Company G were Captain Skaggs; Lt. Pray; Lt. Welch; Sgt. Deck; (Bill Dudas and Frank Balchunas, both who arrived on the beach with him), and others.

After being discharged Harold Barkley found employment with Gardner-Denver Company, a factory that manufactured industrial pumps. He married Esther Schone on November 10, 1946, with whom he had four children: daughter Esther Jean "Jeannie"; sons Myron Lynn (later known as "Ike"), Cleve Carlyle, and Alvin Dean. Harold and Esther were later blessed with four granddaughters and one grandson and also great-grandchildren...... As a child Harold started a stamp collection; when he returned from the war he continued collecting things, expanding to American Indian artifacts, coins, old bottles, and many other interests..... He dearly loved his family. I remember dad and my mother tucking me and my siblings in bed and giving each of us a good night kiss. I think the war had taught him to treasure peace and the comfort of a loving family. Still, the war troubled him. Early on he had nightmares and loud, unexpected noises caused him to flinch. As children we were not allowed to have toy rubber balloons since the screeching sound of fingers rubbing across the surface reminded him of boots crunching in frozen snow. He could be short-tempered.... Harold loved to write poetry. And he had a humorous side. His laughter was a delight to hear, at times culminating in a teary-eyed, breathless, wheezing chortle so severe you'd think he would never catch his breath. And he loved animals, especially dogs.

STATUS
  • CATEGORY:
    Wounded In Action (WIA)
  • DATE:
    July 27, 1944; December 19, 1944
  • LOCATION:
    Near St. Lo, France; Rocherath, Belgium
  • NOTES:
    FIRST WOUND: While attacking across a wheat field during the Breakout from St. Lo, a German tank concealed in a hedgerow opened fire with its machine gun, knocking down several men. Pfc. Barkley, as scout, felt responsible for his buddies situation so rose with his Thompson submachine gun to confront the tank just as it fired again. He was hit in the right shoulder by a tracer round. A bazooka team arrived and knocked out the tank. After recovering in England Pfc. Barkley returned to duty in September 1944 SECOND WOUND: Battle for Twin Villages, Krinkelt-Rocherath: "Americans were withdrawn late on Dec. 19 to stronger defenses on a ridge a few kilometers behind the villages. Dad had been wounded late that same afternoon. Thirteen GIs had been defending a house but by that time the lieutenant said their position was untenable, there were only four men left. On the first attempt to leave a German machine gun killed the leading soldier as he appeared in the doorway. The Lt. then decided to try a different door. He said, "Fix bayonets!"... then "Follow me!" Out the door he went. Just as dad and the other soldier exited the door a German tank fired its cannon. The explosion threw both back into the building, pitching them against a wall. The one fellow was dead. Dad had his hand nailed to the stock of his rifle by a long piece of sizzling shrapnel and a smaller sliver lodged below his knee. He dropped his rifle, allowing the jag of steel to pull through his hand then plucked the other piece from his knee and ran as if the devil was chasing him. He was later taken to a clearing station and field hospital. Only he and the lieutenant made it out of that house," stated by Cleve Barkley, son of PFC Harold G. Barkley.
HONORED BY:

Cleve C. Barkley, Son

NARA - Display Full Records

File Unit: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 - 1946 (Enlistment Records)
in the Series: World War II Army Enlistment Records, created 6/1/2002 - 9/30/2002, documenting the period ca. 1938 - 1946. - Record Group 64 (info)

Brief Scope: This series contains records of approximately nine million men and women who enlisted in the United States Army, including the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.

Source: aad.archives.gov/aad/
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