Edwin Franklin Barker was born on June 14, 1892, in Rock Island, Illinois, son of George and Ida May (Smith) Barker. He attended Rock Island High School and received the degree of Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1917. Commissioned Ensign in the Supply Corps of the US Navy on July 30, 1917, he subsequently attained the rank of Captain to date from November 10, 1945.
After receiving his commission in 1917 he was under instruction at the Supply Corps School, Washington, DC, until October 1917, when he joined the USS Leviathan After two trips to France and two to England, he was detached from that transport and reported in July 1918, as Disbursing Officer at the Naval Training Station, Hampton Roads, Virginia. He remained there for nine months, and following short pre-commissioning duty in the USS El Oriente was assigned in June 1919, to a Destroyer Division as Disbursing Officer (one of the first Supply Corps officers to be detailed as a Destroyer Division Disbursing Officer).
In October 1921 he joined the USS St. Louis as Supply Officer, and when she was decommissioned in April 1922, had nine months’ instruction in accounting at the Navy Yard, New York, New York. Completing the course, he served between January 1923 and June 1925 as Accounting Officer at the Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina. Ordered to duty afloat, he reported aboard the USS Denver. While in that cruiser she spent a year in the troubled waters of Nicaragua during the revolution there, and later transported General Pershing and General Lassiter to Arica, Chile, where the Denver stood by at the time Peru and Chile were staging the famous Aena-Arica plebescite during their border disputes.
Relieved of his assignment in the Denver in October 1927, he became Assistant Supply Officer at the Navy Yard, New York, New York, and in December 1930 reported as Supply Officer of the USS Dobbin. While so serving he accounted for all the material in connection with the decommissioning of fourteen destroyers and the commissioning of fourteen destroyers from inactive status. Between March 1934 and October 1936, he again had duty as Assistant Supply Officer at the Navy Yard, New York, New York, after which he transferred, in the same capacity, to the Navy Yard, Cavite, Philippine Islands.
He reported in March 1939 as Supply Officer of the Destroyer Base, San Diego, California. While there he assisted in the converting of the USS Rigel, and joined that repair ship as Supply Officer. The RIGEL was present at Pearl Harbor, T.H., when the Japanese attached the Naval Base there, December 7, 1941, but suffered no serious damage and subsequently departed for Auckland, New Zealand, where she supplied the Naval forces operating from that port. Detached from the RIGEL in November 1942, he joined the staff of Commander Service Squadron South Pacific, Subordinate Command. He remained in the latter assignment until June 1943, when he was ordered to return to the United States.
He served until August 1945 as Supply Officer of the Naval Operating Base, Key West, Florida, followed by duty as Officer in Charge of the Navy Central Disbursing Office, Miami, Florida. When that unit was disestablished in January 1946 he transferred in a similar capacity, to the Navy Central Disbursing Office, San Diego, California. He continued duty in that assignment until September 1950 when he reported as District Supply Officer, Fifteenth Naval District, with headquarters at Balboa, Canal Zone.
Captain Barker has the World War I Victory Medal; the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal; the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.