Barker, Robert William, LTJG

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1945-1945, 131X, NAS Grosse Ile
Previously Held NEC
139X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot (In Training)
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Lieutenant Junior Grade

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Famous People Who Served in the U.S. MilitaryWWII Memorial National Registry
  2014, Famous People Who Served in the U.S. Military - Assoc. Page
  2014, WWII Memorial National Registry - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
What are you doing now:

Robert William "Bob" Barker (born December 12, 1923) is best known for hosting CBS's The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007, making it the longest-running daytime game show in North American television history, and for hosting Truth or Consequences from 1956 to 1974. Barker was born in Darrington, Washington, and spent most of his youth on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The U.S. Indian Census Rolls, 1885-40, list Barker as an official member of the Sioux tribe. Barker is 1/8 Sioux

Broadcasting Career
Born in Washington state to modest circumstances, Barker enlisted in the United States Navy on the outbreak of World War II. Barker worked part-time in radio while he attended college. In 1950, Barker moved to California in order to pursue a career in broadcasting. He was given his own radio show, The Bob Barker Show, which ran for the next six years from Burbank.  

Game Show Career
Barker began his game show career in 1956, hosting Truth or Consequences (1956-1974). From there, he hosted various game shows: End of the Rainbow (1957-58),  The Family Game (1967), Simon Says (1971),  That's My Line (1980-81), as well as the Miss Universe pageants. Eventually, he hosted The Price Is Right, his most famous and longest running game show, beginning in 1972 through 2007. Barker retired from hosting The Price Is Right after celebrating his 50-year career on television. 

In 1996, Barker played himself in the Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore. 

Naval Service
Robert William Baker was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy two and a half years (1942)after he enlisted because the navy ordered him to remain at Drury College in Springfield, MO His sophomore year. He had to have completed two years of college to qualify to become a naval aviation cadet. He reported for active duty on June 9, 1943. 

Over the course of eighteen months, He trained at eight different wartime locations flew eight different airplanes, including the legendary Corsair. He states in his auto biography he enjoyed the camaraderie of the navy.

His navy training began at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, just outside of Kansas City, Missouri. He was a member of the Sixth Battalion at William Jewell. The first part of the cadet training was all ground school and athletics. Hours of physical activity, conditioning, and sports. These were hard-core physical training during June, July, and August in Missouri. 

His first taste of flying came at the next training base, which was in Ames, Iowa, at Iowa State University. At this location he had Civilian Flight Instructors and he learn to fly and solo at age 19 in a Taylorcraft Plane. 

After learning to fly a Taylorcraft at Iowa State University, He was transferred the University of Georgia and what the navy called preflight school. At preflight they put flying aside.  The navy had four preflight schools in the United States: the University of Georgia,  St. Mary's in California; the University of Iowa and the University of North Carolina. These preflight schools were notorious throughout the navy for being tough, both in the ground school and in physical training- particularly the physical training program.

When he got to preflight school in Georgia, they had tryouts for the preflight basketball team. All branches of the service had athletic teams, and they were an important part of morale. He had been at Drury College on a basketball scholarship, so he tried out and was selected for the team. Playing on the basketball team meant that Bob avoided all other athletic training. 

After preflight, He went to Millington Naval Air Station just outside of Memphis, Tennessee, where into official Navy flight training. This included night and formation flying. At the Memphis base Bob was trained to fly the Steamian, which was a biplane and an open cockpit. 

His next wartime duty station was  the huge naval air station at Corpus Christi, Texas. Corpus Christi was a vast complex of airfields, Corpus Christi is where he completed his flight training and was commissioned as an ensign. He had the commanding officer pin my gold wing on his chest.

Bob's next step was what the navy called basic training.  He was assigned to Cabaniss Field for basic, and this phase of the training concentrated more on flying and less on everything else. At this Phase of Bob's Training he was flying more. He was also flying in his biggest airplane yet, the BT-13. It had a retractable cockpit hood and retractable landing gear wheels. Within a month or two, most men including Bob comfortable at the controls of a BT-13, takeoffs, landings, formation flying, night flying, dogfighting, dive-bombing, acrobatics ands they were ready for the next phase of training. 

He trained to be a fighter pilot. He was sent to the field at Beeville for instrument training. At Beeville he flew the SNJ, an even more powerful plane than the BT-13. The SNJ was a trainer that was the next thing to a fighter. Advanced training was next, and supposedly it was the last hurdle before graduation . He went to Waldron Field for advanced and it included dogfighting, this time flying the SNJ.  Think this was the last leg he was informed that the transiting program had been lengthen. He was sent to Preoperational training using the SDB Dive Bomber for a few weeks. 

Finally Receiving his commission he was sent to Operational Training at DeLand Florida to fly FM-2 Fighters. In operational training he did more of all the things he had learned along the way: lots of formation flying, night flying, and dogfighting. But operational training also included gunnery flights; firing live ammunition at a sleeve towed by one of the pilots in our flight; and field carrier landings.  He was  sent up to the Great Lakes Naval Air Station to do our twelve qualifying carrier landings on the Wolverine (a carrier kept at Lake Michigan for just that purpose), and he was one of those who received a grade of superior.

He was finally sent to Banana River Naval Air Station, expecting to be assigned to a carrier squadron but instead was one of seven pilots that was their sole responsibility was to fly out over the beautiful Atlantic and make gunnery runs on US Navy Mariner aircraft. for testing the Mariners crew.

He was transferred again to learn to fly F4U Corsairs in Goose Isle, Michigan and logged a few hours in the seat but the war coming to end. As Bob once said " I was a naval aviator, a fighter pilot. I completed all facets of my training, including my qualifying landings on a carrier. I was all ready to go, and when the enemy heard that I was headed for the Pacific, they surrendered. That was the end of World War II."

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 2014, Famous People Who Served in the U.S. Military
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Last Updated: Apr 30, 2018

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  237 Also There at This Association:
  • Belafonte, Harold, S2c, (1943-1945)
  • Burrell, Stanley, PO3, (1981-1984)
  • Golenor, John, LT, (1951-1955)
  • Gordon, Gale, LTJG, (1965-1968)
  • Haid, Charles Maurice, SN, (1961-1963)
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