In Memory of
Navy Seaman First Class
Donald Loren Barger
Tabor, South Dakota
Bon Homme County
December 1, 1923 – July 13, 1943
Missing in Action in Pacific Ocean
Donald Loren Barger was born on December 1,
1923, in Hutchinson County. He was the son of Mr.and Mrs. James Arthur Barger.
He was the brother of Mary Ann, Howard, Norman, Betty, and Patty Barger. Donald
and his family later moved to Yankton County where he attended Elm Grove
Donald Barger enlisted in the Marines in 1942
at the age of 19. Donald received his training in San Diego, California, and was
later assigned to the USS Gwin. Seaman Barger was home on leave in
February of 1943, the last time he saw his family.
While serving on the USS Gwinn, Seaman
Donald Loren Barger and the rest of the crew were on a mission to intercept an
enemy fleet off Kula Gulf in the Southwest Pacific. The last time anybody heard,
the USS Gwinn was entering Kula Gulf. That was on July 13, 1943. A
subsequent letter to his parents read in part:
In view of the additional length of time that has now
elapsed since your son
was reported missing in action, and because of the strong possibility that he
lost his life as result of the torpedo explosion or in the water after
ship, and because there have been no official or unconfirmed reports that any
the personnel of the ship survived or were taken prisoner of war, I am
forced to the conclusion that your son is deceased.
Donald Barger’s name is listed on the Tablets
of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Philippines. He is survived by
siblings, Norman of Yankton, Betty, Lubbock, Texas, Mary Ann of Tabor, and Patty
of Missouri Valley, Iowa.
Donald Barger had served his country well and
will always be appreciated and remembered for his service and sacrifice.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Kris Kerwin, 8th Grade West,
Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, October 31, 2000. Information
for this entry was provided by Mary Ann Vanecek of Tabor, South Dakota, sister
of Donald Loren Barger.