First Lieutenant Fred Anthony Barton (O-826069) served in Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, 325th Service Group, United States Army Air Force during the Second World War. He was born on 30th November 1923 in Fulton County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Barton died on 1st July 1945 aged 21 years old. He had completed 35 missions before undertaking his final assignment as a test pilot at Langford Lodge Airfield, Co. Antrim. While piloting A-20K #44-184, Barton – the only occupant of the plane – crashed into a hillside in Eskra near Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone.
Parts of the exploded plane covered a distance of half a square mile. Sergeant L. Johnston of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone received assistance at the scene from Dr. Pringle from the village, and National Fire Service units from Portadown, Co. Armagh.
Sergeant L. Johnston, Aughnacloy, who visited the scene, found blood-sodden handkerchiefs bearing the name Barton. Local people heard the explosion but no one saw the crash, and a huge crater on the hillside leads to the belief that the machine crashed into it. It is understood that Barton was on the eve of departure from Northern Ireland and had taken the plane up for a last flight.