James R. Barkley Sr.
1925 - 2016
Share
Share James's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Retired Lt. Col. James R. Barkley Sr. passed away Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. Interment: 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery with full military honors. Memorials: Friends wishing to make a donation to Col. Barkley's memory may send donations to U.S. Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) Scholarship Foundation (Families of the Fallen) Inc., 593 Main St., Monroe, Conn., 06468-2806. James R. Barkley Sr. was born Nov. 23, 1925, to Joseph and Elva Barkley. He was married Sept. 13, 1947, in Wilmington, Del., to Margaret Mary Mellon, an RN graduate from the Delaware Hospital School of Nursing. She became his ever-loving wife for over 61 years; she passed away Feb. 9, 2009. As a member of the World War II "The Greatest Generation," he enlisted in the U.S Army in 1943 as a private. Following field artillery basic training, he was assigned to Headquarters Battery, 922 FA Bn, 97th Infantry Division, and deployed to the ETO where he participated in battles of the Ruhr Valley and Central Germany. After the surrender of Japan in 1945, he became part of the Allied Occupation Force of Japan until May 1946. Returning to the states as a staff sergeant, he reenlisted in the active U.S. Army Reserve at the Reserve Headquarters in Wilmington, Del. There he participated in many months of extended periods of active duty. On Dec. 8, 1948, while on active duty at the Reserve Headquarters, he received a direct commission to second lieutenant in the U.S. Army field artillery liaison pilot. On Jan. 1, 1950, he was recalled to full active duty and attended the U.S. Army Liaison Pilot flight training, graduating in June as an Army field artillery liaison pilot. Following graduation, he was assigned to the 46th Ordinance Light Aircraft Maintenance Co. (OLAM), Fort Still, Okla., as an aircraft maintenance officer. In December 1950 with his unit, he was deployed to South Korea to assist U.N. forces fighting the North Korean invaders. After a year of flying combat support missions in Korea and two years Army Aviation support duty in Japan, he was transferred to Headquarters U.S. Army, Washington, D.C, as an Army aircraft development project officer in the Army Aviation Engineering and Development Branch. June 1957 he was assigned to the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (BUAER), as an exchange officer, assisting in the development of the Grumman designed AO-1, later designated the Grumman OV-1 by the Army, twin turbo prop reconnaissance fixed-wing aircraft. From June-December 1959 he attended the U.S Army Transportation Corps Officers Advanced Course in Fort Eustis, Va. In January 1960 following graduation he was transferred the U.S. 8th Army Korea and commanded the 55th Army Aircraft Maintenance Company until returning to the U.S. in January 1961. He was assigned to the U.S. Army Aviation Test Board, Fort Rucker, Ala., as a project officer and test pilot, conducting "Developmental Service Test Flights" on new Army fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, including the OV-1 Mohawk. In February 1962 he was again transferred back to Washington, D.C., on the U.S. Army General Staff as development project officer on the OV-1 aircraft program. In March 1964 he was "Officer in Charge" (OIC) to lead the first flight delivery for four U.S. Army OV-1 Aircraft from New York to Heidelberg, Germany. This was followed by a three-year tour as director of maintenance and deputy commander, U.S Army Aviation Maintenance Center, Sandhofen, Germany, and promoted to Regular Army lieutenant colonel. In 1967 he was assigned to the U.S. Army Aviation Training Command, Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Ga. He assumed command of the Army Aviation 2nd Maintenance Battalion. In January 1969 he was transferred to the U.S. Army Vietnam (USARV) 34th General Support Group as director of material where he flew many combat support missions. In January 1970 he was again assigned to the U.S. Army (USAREUR) in Germany as Theater Army Support Command (TASCOM) Senior Army Aviation Staff Officer, providing staff supervision to the U.S. Army Aviation support units in Germany, England and Italy. On Sept. 30, 1973, after more than 29 years of active U.S. Army military service, he retired as a master army aviator with over 6,000 hours of fixed-and rotary-wing pilot flight hours, including 291 combat flight hours. His many awards and decorations included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, U.S. Presidential Unit Citation, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation and other Bronze battle stars. During his service, he attended military and civilian schools, including the University of Maryland and Troy State Collage, accumulating four years of college credits. Upon retirement, he accepted employment with Bell Helicopter Textron, as logistics manager for military helicopter programs. In February 1986 he was promoted to manager, Bell Helicopter Customer Training Academy, a world-recognized helicopter training activity. During this assignment, Jim was awarded Honorary Master Army Aviator in Royal Thai Army for assisting it in modernizing its Army aviation training programs. In May 1985, the Honorable Wallace Wilkinson, governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, bestowed upon Mr. Barkley the designation of "Kentucky Colonel" for outstanding work in assisting the Kentucky State Aviation Maintenance and Flight Department's upgrading and standardizing their aviation programs. On July 31, 1992, following retirement from Bell Helicopter, he continued as an active member of the U.S. Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA), U.S. Army Transportation Corps Honor Regiment, OV-1 Mohawk Association, and the Army Liaison Pilots "Cub Club Originals." In recognition of his degree of professionalism, unwavering devotion to duty and dedication to defending the United States, in December 2010 the U.S. AAAA honored Lt. Col. Barkley with the association's "St. Michael Bronze Medal." Survivors: Son, retired Tech. Sgt. James R. Barkley Jr. of Dallas; daughters, Nancy A Mahler of Sacramento, Calif., Barbara Barkley of Arlington; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Star-Telegram on Aug. 15, 2016.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
AUG
17
Service
11:15 AM
Dallas/Fort Worth TX National Cemetery
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
14 entries
November 5, 2016
May he rest in the arms of the Lord. Gabe Hudson, #`1406 OV-1 Mohawk Association
Gabe Hudson
August 28, 2016
So sorry for your loss. The Bible provides the greatest comfort of all during this time of grief. 1 Peter 5 : 7
August 20, 2016
To my cousins:
Jim, Nancy and Barbara ~
You are in my thoughts at this time
God Bless.....Marie, of the Mellons !
Marie Essex
August 17, 2016
Jim will be missed a great deal. He always tried to make the annual AAAA Cub Club reunions, and was always so excited about the event. He was always the life of the party, generous with his time, graciously supportive of the AAAA Scholarship foundation, and always had a smile on his face. I will miss the phone calls I received from him, which always began with "Hello, angel, this is the grumpy old man." We love you Jim and wish you peace and blue skies.
Janis Arena
August 17, 2016
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Jim was a kind and loving neighbor and will be sorely missed. Tom and Gay Peterson
Tom and Gay Peterson
August 15, 2016
My sincere condolences to the family for the loss of your loved one. May prayers strengthen you and memories comfort you and may our Lord Jesus christ and God our father who loves us comfort your hearts and " make you firm " ( 2 Thessalonians 2 : 16, 17 )
Jay
August 15, 2016
Prayers for your family at this very sad time. I met Mr. Barkley in 1984. I was the office manager of the ophthalmologist that he and Mrs. Barkley obtained eye care in Arlington. He was the nicest man and so caring. He loved his wife, family and country. Our staff was favored with hugs and treats at every appointment! He continued to see our doctors and it was always a pleasure to see him even after Margaret passed. Recently, he moved to the same senior living facility that my mom lives in and I got to see him from time to time. Always a pleasure to spend time with him. Loved his stories and wit. Please know that he will be greatly missed. Prayers Linda Bary
Linda Bary
August 15, 2016
When we moved to Texas in 1989 we were so very fortunate to have landed across the street from Jim & Marg. They probably never realized how much they helped with our transition. Their door was always open and their telephone was always ready to be answered. We were so thankful to have them in our lives.
We were so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. May his family be in our thoughts and prayers.
Pat & Pat McKerring
August 14, 2016
I have had the great privilege of knowing Jim for many years at Bell, enjoying the monthly Retiree Luncheons and more recently seeing him at the Y for daily workouts.
He was a pleasure to know and recognize how much he loved his family.
Ron Clegg
August 14, 2016
Jim hired me at Bell in 1987. He was a friend and great boss.

Rest in Peace
A.W. Brown
August 13, 2016
When God gave you and grandma to me as grandparents, I was given the greatest gift. You were both my inspiration in life to be the best person I could be. I love you and will always strive to be as wonderful as a human as you were. I miss you grandpa.
Emily Jeter
August 10, 2016
Rest in peace uncle Bob.
My mothers brother
Dwayne Powell
August 10, 2016
Mr. Barkley will be sorely missed at Eagle Postal Center. He was such a kind-hearted man that treated us all like family. He now can be with his dear wife, smiling down on all of us.
Britt Smith
August 9, 2016
I will miss the best Daddy in the Whole World. Love you Daddy!
Nancu Mahler
INVITE OTHERS TO ADD MEMORIES
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences