Freedom Fighters: The Barber brothers-Part I - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: The Barber brothers-Part I

By Joan Hallmark joanhallmark@kltv.com

Ray and Ralph Barber have been mistaken for each other their whole lives. After all, they are twins. During World War Two, it seemed that even fate might have them mixed up.

The twins were eighteen year old college students when they volunteered for the Army Air Corps, along with three of their friends. The Barbers were kept together during most of their basic training. They even were sent to the same air base in England for active duty, although they weren't allowed to fly together. In spite of this, the first mission for each twin was almost his last.

On a bombing mission over Germany, Ray's B-24 was hit by heavy flak which knocked out an engine. Another engine was hit by air fire so the crew had to bail out Ray at first hit the top of tall trees, but made it to the ground without serious injury. It took ten days for Ray to make it back to his base in England, ten days during which Ralph didn't know if his twin was dead or alive. But Ralph had almost lost his life on the same day. More about that in next week's "Freedom Fighters."

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