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Phillip George Barnes was born in Washington, DC, on March 17, 1909. He graduated from Armstrong High School, in Washington, in 1927, attended the United States School for Printers, Government Printing Office and was subsequently employed as a bookbinder for the Government Printing Office. While there, he enrolled, on February 19, 1931, in the Enlisted Reserve Corps of the Army for service with the 428th Infantry and on February 18, 1934 was discharged by reason of expiration of his enlistment.
On December 9, 1942 he enlisted as an Apprentice Seaman in the US Naval Reserve. He was promoted in rate as follows: Fireman Third Class, March 1943; Shipfitter Third Class, August 1943; Coxswain, November 1943; and Boatswain Mate First Class in January 1944. Commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve on March 1, 1944, he was advanced to Lieutenant (junior grade), to date from August 1, 1945.
After receiving his commission in 1944, he had training at the Naval Reserve Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois, from March to July of that year, then joined the USS Migrant. Detached from that vessel in February 1945, he next had instruction at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Hingham, Massachusetts, and between April and July 1945 served at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Assigned next to the US Naval Base, Saipan, Marianas Islands, he remained there until ordered in January 1946 to return to the United States for separation processing, and on February 28, 1946 was released from active duty.
Lieutenant Barnes died on March 2, 1949 at the US Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland.