Colonel Russel D. Barney

Inducted: 2009

A native Oregonian, Col. Russell D. Barney grew up in Astoria. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and was selected for pilot training. Upon completion, he was sent to England to fly the B-17 Flying Fortress with the 490th Bomb Group. He and his crew completed 35 combat missions, proudly pointing out that none of them received as much as a scratch. Barney then went on to fly missions rescuing downed aviators. After the war, he remained in the Active Reserves and was called up for duty in the Korean War, where he flew missions in an un-armed L-5, directing airstrikes. He went on to command the 7th Liaison Squadron. Then the war in Vietnam once again called him into combat. Flying the B-26K Invader with the 56th Air Commando Wing, he completed 110 missions, including ten into North Vietnam. After his combat tour, he served in several staff officer positions before retiring from the U.S. Air Force with more than 30 years of distinguished service. As a civilian, he became an educator serving the country’s future leaders. He founded the Department of Business Administration at the Baptist University of America, then, as an Associate Professor, founded and chaired the Department of Business Administration at The Master’s College. He returned to Oregon in 1987, settling in Yachats, where he served on the City Council. Today, Barney carries on his legacy of service and education as a volunteer docent for the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. In what he regards as his most rewarding activity, he talks to audiences young and old about aviation and the B-17 Flying Fortress. He shares his gift of experience with warmth and humor, inspiring visitors young and old to follow their dreams and serve their country.

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