G. Donald Barnes

Ensign G. Donald Barnes Leaves for Navy Service
In the Leader-Telegram picture at the left is seen a small section of the crowd that gathered at the Omaha Depot Wednesday afternoon to bid farewell to Mayor G. Donald Barnes, now Ensign G. Donald Barnes, United States Naval Reserve, as he boarded the "400" to report for duty at the Great Lakes Naval Station.

The Mayor is seen striding along the platform to board the train, while immediately behind him is seen his father, J. Horace Barnes.

The picture at the right was snapped as the "400" pulled away from the station.

Former Mayor Is Finishing Vital Job, Helping to Keep Navy Craft in Operation
AT A U.S. BASE, TIDWORTH, England (Delayed)—Lieutenant G. Donald Barnes, United States Naval Reserve, 30, 422 Niagara Street, Eau Claire, WI, former mayor of Eau Claire, is finishing his part in a vital, if unspectacular, job here in England.  He has been Officer-in-Charge of the U.S. Naval Inspection Detachment which, for the past 19 months, has worked with army ordnance men to keep Navy small craft and Army tanks in steady operation.

During the invasion and follow-up operations across the English Channel, the speedy rebuilding and return to action of damaged and worn out engines has played a big part in the successful drive to smash Hitler.

The Navy crew of 90 men, which supplied the unit with trained diesel specialists and mechanics, and the Army Ordnance Battalion, which supplied the manpower for operating the assembly line, operated what was virtually a small diesel engine factory. Engines were taken out of landing craft and tanks in the field and shipped to this unit, which completely dissembled them, checked all parts and repaired or replaced damaged and worn ones, reassembling the engine. After a five-hour test under full load, the engines were shipped out again to the field.

The plant was capable of turning out 25 rebuilt engines a day, and the Navy crew was commended both by the commanding officer of the Army Ordnance Depot and by the Commander of Naval Amphibious Bases in the United Kingdom for outstanding performance of duty during the hectic days following the Normandy Invasion.

Lieutenant Barnes is the son of Mrs. James  H. Barnes of the Niagara Street address. He is a graduate of Eau Claire State Teachers College. For his "meritorious performance of duty," Lieutenant Barnes was commend [**data missing**]

Barnes is commended for Invasion Work
Lieutenant G. Donald Barnes, United States Naval Reserve, Eau Claire's mayor,  who is on leave of absence, has been promoted to full Lieutenant from junior grade as of July 1, according to word received here. He is stationed in England.

Lieutenant Barnes has also received a commendation from Admiral John Wilkes, Commander, Landing Craft and Bases, of the Eleventh Amphibious Force, for meritorious performance of duty in preparation for "D" day.

The commendation reads as follows:

"Your meritorious performance of duty on the maintenance staff of this command is worthy of special commendation.

"By constant and thorough application to your duties, and by unceasing effort and attention to detail in the planning and progress of work, you made an outstanding contribution to the highly satisfactory  manner in which practically all landing ships and craft assigned to this command were maintained in the maximum operational condition in preparation for the successful invasion of the continent of Europe on June 6, 1944. 

"For your exceptional ability and devotion to duty, which reflects credit upon yourself and the U. S. Naval Service, you are hereby commended."

Lieutenant Barnes left Eau Claire, after receiving his commission as an Ensign, to report to Great Lakes Naval Station on May 28, 1942.

Lieutenant G. Donald Barnes, United States Naval Reserve, on leave of absence as Mayor of Eau Claire, is now in England, serving with a Naval Amphibious Force. Recently, he met three other Eau Claire men in England, and the above picture was taken when they got together for a visit.

From left to right are Private First Class LaVerne (Jim) Haugen, son of Mrs. Elsie Haugen; Corporal Gordon Campbell, Assistant to City Assessor here, at the time he entered service, son of Mrs. William Campbell; Lieutenant G. Donald Barnes; Private John McRae, who resided at 416 Emery Street and worked for the U.S. Rubber Company here.

Lieutenant Barnes writes that there are now many Eau Claire men in England and that, recently, Lieutenant Commander R. J. Lewis of Eau Claire suggested holding an "Eau Claire Day" there; however, such a reunion will probably have to await more peaceful times.

Written by Harold (Diz) Kronenberg

He was mayor of Eau Claire before he entered the service. After the war, he was a successful lawyer and on the Eau Claire School Board for many years.