British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum
ebay
'Badges/Patches' 'Militaria, Badges'    Medals

 Military Badges

 All British  WW1  WW2 WW1   WW2

Go Back   British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum > Canadian Military Insignia > Royal Canadian Navy

 Other Pages: Galleries, Links etc.
Glossary  Books by Forum Members     Canadian Pre 1914    CEF    CEF Badge Inscriptions   Canadian post 1920     Canadian post 1953     British Cavalry Badges     Makers' Marks    Pipers' Badges  Canadian Cloth Titles  Books
 
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-11-15, 01:23 PM
RCN's Avatar
RCN RCN is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: So. ON, CANADA
Posts: 2,023
Default Remembering Today - John A. Barron - service in 5 Units!

I would like on this special Day of Remembrance to highlight the service & medals awarded to Flight Commander John Augustus Barron.
John Barron was the first Officer enrolled in the newly formed RCN in October 1910, he had previously served in the predecessor to the RCN, the Canadian Marine Service(CMS) & subsequently went on to serve in the RN, RNAS, & RAF.
He also had the distinction of being the first Canadian officer to qualify as an Airship Pilot in the RNAS.

Here is his story (in brief ,as it could be considerably longer!).........


FLIGHT COMMANDER & CAPTAIN JOHN AUGUSTUS BARRON, RNAS, RAF.
A Canadian in five services: CMS, RCN, RN, RNAS, RAF.

John Barron was born in Stratford Ontario on Mar 29, 1894. He was one of the seven original cadets that were appointed in 1908 to the then Canadian Marine Service (CMS) aboard the Canadian Fisheries Protection vessel CGS Canada. The RCN did not exist at that time, but the CMS was the predecessor of the RCN, which was formed in 1910. Upon the formation of the RCN six cadets were transferred to the RCN, appointed Midshipmen effective 21 Oct 1910, & joined HMCS Niobe which arrived in Halifax that day. John Barron was the first Midshipman to be enrolled in the newly formed RCN, the appointment list appearing in the CG of 25 Sep 1910. He was to serve in the RN aboard HMS Dreadnought, but had some eye problems diagnosed in 1912 & was invalided out on 3 Dec ’12. His eye problems seemed to be resolved & he again entered the RCN in May 1913, but as he wished to follow a career as a pilot in the RNAS he transferred to the RN on 20 Aug ’14, with his seniority backdated to 15 May ‘13. He was appointed to HMS King George V, a battleship, part of the Grand Fleet.
He applied for a transfer to the RNAS & on 17 March ’15 his request for transfer was approved & he was posted to Kingsnorth Airship station to qualify as an Airship pilot. He was among 20 RN Acting Sub Lieutenants who were loaned to the RNAS for flight training. Barron was the only Canadian among the group & the first Canadian to qualify as an Airship pilot in the RNAS. Barron had been promoted to A/Sub Lieut, RN & Flight Sub Lieut, RNAS on15 May ’15. Airships at that time were primarily employed in Sub hunting in the waters around UK. During 1915 he subsequently served on Airship stations Barrow In Furness, & Anglesey. During 1916 he flew out of Anglesea, East Fortune, Kingsnorth, & Mullion stations. He was promoted to Sub Lieut, RN on 15 Jan 1916. Whilst he was operating out of Mullion, he commanded Airship C10 & on 10 Sep had an encounter with an enemy submarine which was in the process of attacking two French merchant ships. He was able to force the sub down but was unable to drop his bomb load on the sub. For this action & the subsequent rescue of a downed pilot he was awarded a MiD (Mention in Despatches). On 1 Oct ’16 Barron was promoted to Flight Lieut, RNAS. During 1915-16 Barron had amassed over 200 hours flying time on anti- submarine patrols in airships.
Early in 1917 he flew out of Howden(where he commanded Airship CP4), & Wormwood Scrubs until he was assigned on 1 Feb ‘17 to Mudros station in the Mediterranean primarily working with Italian navy airships.


He was then posted on 18 Jun ‘17 to RNAS 6 Wing at Taranto to assist the Italian navy in sub hunting over the Otranto Straight and the Adriatic sea. He flew with a special detachment with Number 6 wing RNAS to rig & test six Sea Scout airships sold to the Italian navy by the Admiralty & to give flying instruction to new pilots at Taranto. He was subsequently appointed in command of the Naval Air Group at Taranto, Nr 6 Wing RNAS airship station. For his operations at Taranto he was subsequently awarded the order of St Maurice & St Lazarus(Officer), the only Canadian pilot to receive that decoration.
On 15 July ’17 Barron was promoted to Lieut, RN & Flight Commander, RNAS on 31 Oct. His service in Italy came to an end in 1918, when on Feb 8 he was appointed to Washington DC to assist the USN in establishing antisubmarine patrols off the east coast of US. On 10 June he was posted to Ottawa to assist in the development of the newly formed RCNAS. When the RNAS was amalgamated with the RFC & the RAF was created on 1 Apl 1918, he was granted the rank of Captain, RAF.
On 7 Nov he was back at East Fortune Airship station where he finished out the war.
John Barron was granted a permanent commission as a Flight Lieut in the RAF on 1 Aug 1919. His next appointment to Germany on 11 Aug was to the Inter Allied Aeronautical Control Mission in Berlin. He served with the Mission until returning to Canada in June 1920 where he served on the Canadian Air Board, then to the Armament & Gunnery school in UK where he served as an Instructor from June 1922. In mid 1923 he was appointed to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough for training & instructing new pilots.
On 7 July 1925 Barron retired from the RAF & was placed on the Retired list of the CAF effective 21 Oct 1925.
He worked in the Insurance business until 2WW, when in Jan 1940 he entered the RCAF & was appointed to Number 10 EFTS at Mount Hope (Hamilton, Ontario) serving as Chief Ground Instructor until war’s end.
John Barron lived in Toronto after the war & died on 1 Jan 1956, aged 61. He is buried in Mount Hope cemetery, Toronto.


The photo below shows the original 7 cadets enrolled in the CMS taken in 1908.The RCN did not exist as yet, the CMS was primarily formed to give some medium of protection to the Canadian fisheries which at that time was a very big industry in Canada.

Six of these cadets were transferred to the newly formed RCN as Midshipman on 21 Oct 1910, & posted to HMCS Niobe when she arrived in Canada on that day. All went on to serve in 1WW, & one (P. Nelles) became CNS (Chief of the Naval Staff) in the period leading up to 2WW & during the first 3 years of the war. Mid V. Brodeur eventually became a Rear Admiral & during 2WW commanded the Pacific coast of Canada.

Barron is the cadet front row right seated, smiling, he appears to be very happy. Nelles is beside him & he always always looked very serious in any photo I have seen of him. Victor Brodeur is the very short cadet in the back row & he was totally opposite to Barron - always very strict & focussed looking, a "don't mess with me" appearance!
The three officers seated in the centre are Canadian Fisheries Protection Service officers & I have their names also.
Also a photo of CGS Canada taken around 1915.

The last photo is a shot of the RCN Midshipmen & Gunroom officers of HMCS Niobe taken in Oct 1910, the 6 cadets are identified below, one cadet (Wright)had left the service prior to the arrival of Niobe.


Bryan
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Barron orig cadets.jpg (63.1 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Barron orig cadets close.jpg (67.9 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Barron CGS Canada.jpg (49.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Barron cadetsNiobe1910.jpg (77.6 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Barron cadetsNiobe.jpg (66.6 KB, 9 views)

Last edited by RCN; 11-11-15 at 02:17 PM. Reason: .
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-11-15, 01:45 PM
RCN's Avatar
RCN RCN is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: So. ON, CANADA
Posts: 2,023
Default John A. Barron RN & RNAS

All of John Barron's Great War service in the RNAS was in non rigid Airships, as mentioned above he was a Canadian pioneer in this type of ship. They were a very difficult airship to pilot when in the air & took a considerable amount of skill to handle, especially in rough weather of which Barron would have experienced regularly on anti sub patrols off the coast of the UK.

The C type of airship (which he primarily flew) was designed as an anti sub ship, to search out enemy submarines & either force them under &/or bomb them if they got the chance. The big downside was the surfaced sub could see them coming miles off in good visibility & usually had a good chance of getting under before the crew could release their bomb load onto the sub.

The C type airship is shown below. Photo taken in 1915.

Also shown is a formal portrait of John Barron taken circa 1917. he is wearing the insignia of a Flight Commander RNAS.
As mentioned above he had prior RN service so he still wears his RN cap badge, presumably RN Officers serving in the RNAS had a choice of which cap badge they wore.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Barron airship.jpg (62.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Barron RNASportrait.jpg (38.3 KB, 11 views)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-11-15, 01:53 PM
RCN's Avatar
RCN RCN is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: So. ON, CANADA
Posts: 2,023
Default John Barron, RNAS

A few shots of John Barron's RNAS cap....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Barron RNAS 1WW cap F.jpg (46.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Barron RNAS 1WW cap L.jpg (41.7 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg BarronRNAS 1WW cap R.jpg (44.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Barron cap badge.jpg (80.8 KB, 10 views)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-11-15, 02:02 PM
RCN's Avatar
RCN RCN is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: So. ON, CANADA
Posts: 2,023
Default John Barron, RNAS

A photo of John Barron's medal group.

John Barron was awarded the Order of St Maurice & St Lazarus(Italy, kingdom period) for his work at Taranto in 1917. He was the only Canadian Naval officer to receive this award.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Barron medals.jpg (61.9 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Barron medals Italian.jpg (35.6 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Barron Italian ord.jpg (84.5 KB, 5 views)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-11-15, 02:11 PM
RCN's Avatar
RCN RCN is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: So. ON, CANADA
Posts: 2,023
Default John Barron, 2WW

During 2WW John Barron served in the RCAF as Chief Ground Instructor at Number 10 EFTS (Elementary Flight Training School) at Mount Hope, Hamilton, Ontario. Many of the future RAF & RCAF pilots trained in various locations in Canada under the BCATP (British Commonwealth Air Training Plan).

Photo of John Barron wearing the EFTS cap badge & escorting the Duke of Kent(King George VI's youngest brother) thru the facilities.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Barron EFTS portrait.jpg (38.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Barron EFTS ph.jpg (63.0 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Barron EFTS ph close.jpg (62.8 KB, 9 views)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-11-15, 02:13 PM
RCN's Avatar
RCN RCN is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: So. ON, CANADA
Posts: 2,023
Default John Barron career

Two brief summaries of John Barron's career from publications...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Barron career1.jpg (77.6 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Barron career2.jpg (98.7 KB, 1 views)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-11-15, 02:16 PM
RCN's Avatar
RCN RCN is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: So. ON, CANADA
Posts: 2,023
Default John Barron (concluded)

John Barron's obituary & grave in Mount Pleasant cemetery, Toronto, ON.


Thanks for taking the time to read thru this post, I hope you enjoyed it!

Bryan
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Barron obit.jpg (58.8 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Barron stone closeup.jpg (117.2 KB, 8 views)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:48 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.