G.S. Barry, ca. 1936
Gordon Barry signed the Davis-Monthan Register on Thursday, August 28, 1930 at 2:00 PM. He carried two unidentified passengers in a Lockheed Vega with Mexican registration, X-ABH (nee: NC2846). They were based in Torreon, Mexico, and were on their way northwest from there to Los Angeles, CA. From the history of the airplane, q.v., it is fairly clear that this was a commercial transport flight on Corporacion Aeronautica de Transportes,
S.A. (CAT), based at Torreon. Barry was a pilot for CAT.
In 1934, Barry founded his own airline in Mexico, named Lineas Aereas Mineras, S.A. Please direct your browser to this link for a little bit of information about Barry and LAMSA (it's the second article down on that page).
Pilot Barry's NASM biographical file (left sidebar) contains a single, undated newspaper article. From the context of the contents, however, the date of the article was December 24, 1936. The image, left, is from that article.
The article describes Barry's participation in the "Yankee Squadron" during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). He had served in the RAF toward the end of World War I, and was a transport pilot during the early 1930s (see CAT experience, above).
Barry was a 39 year old New Yorker, and flying and drinking companion of Bert Acosta. Acosta was leader of the American pilots recruited to fly for anti-Franco Republican loyalists during the Civil War. Barry was one of his recruits.
From the same 1936 article: "As loyalist bombing planes escorted by American-piloted pursuit ships [Barry flew one] took off yesterday to bomb Burgos [in northern Spain], the Spanish rebel headquarters, between ten and twenty persons, including women and children, were slain in Madrid streets on Christmas Eve by shells from Fascist artillery and bombs from insurgent planes.
"The Yankee Squadron, most daring of the aviatiors fighting with the Spanish loyalists, swept over the rebel capital of Burgos tonight.
"The American flyers, led by Bert Acosta, escorted a fleet of bombers in a raid on the insurgents' capital, one of their most heavily fortified positions. They carried hundreds of incendiary bombs to drop on hangars and munition dumps around Burgos in an effort to destroy General Francisco Franco's planes and artillery, which have wrecked much of Madrid."
With a hint of swashbuckle, the article continues, "Acosta and his companions abandoned plans for a Christmas Eve celebration in Biarritz, French resort across the frontier, to embark on the bombing foray. They referred jokingly to the bombs which they stowed away beneath the planes as 'messages of Christmas cheer for the boys in Burgos.'"
Barry was born in 1898 (?); I have no information about his subsequent life or death. Does anyone KNOW?
UPLOADED: 03/24/08 REVISED: 02/19/09, 10/08/09