George Barr was born on April 6, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in History from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, he enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Corps on February 10, 1941. Barr transferred from pilot training to navigator training in May 1941, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his Navigator Wings at Pendleton Field, Oregon, on December 6, 1941. He was then assigned as a B-25 Mitchell navigator with the 34th Bomb Squadron of the 17th Bomb Group at Pendleton Field, and was accepted for the Doolittle Mission in February 1942. Lt Barr was the navigator on the 16th B-25 to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) on April 18, 1942, and after bombing its assigned targets in Japan, the crew bailed out over China when their aircraft ran low on fuel. He and the other members of the crew were all captured by the Japanese in Occupied China the same day they bailed out, and he was held as a Prisoner of War in China until being repatriated on August 20, 1945. After returning to the United States in October 1945, Capt Barr was hospitalized to recover from his injuries in California, Illinois, and New York from October 1945 to May 1946, and then recuperated at home until August 1946. His final assignment was as Assistant Operations Officer with the 104th Army Air Force Base Unit at Mitchel Field, New York, from August 1946 until he was medically retired from the Army Air Forces on September 16, 1947. George Barr died on July 12, 1967, and was buried at the Mount Hope Lutheran Cemetery in Ashland, Wisconsin.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary achievement while participating in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland on April 18, 1942. Lieutenant Barr volunteered for this mission knowing full well that the chances of survival were extremely remote, and executed his part in it with great skill and daring. This achievement reflects high credit on Lieutenant Barr and the military service.