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Special Collections Online at UT

Major Lawrence S. Barker, Jr. Papers

Identifier: CSWS-0044

  • Staff Only

This collection houses military records documenting Major Lawrence S. Barker's service in the United States Marine Corps (1942-1946) and United States Marine Corps Reserves (1946-1964). This collection also includes United States Marine Corps publications, commemorative objects and ephemera, as well as photographs documenting the 5th Marine Division's time in Japan and Major Barker's experiences in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The collection also includes a small amount of correspondence from Major Barker to his mother and his sister, Ruth.


  • 1924-1994
  • Majority of material found within 1941-1945

Conditions Governing Access

Manuscript and University Archives collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 24 hours is needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


1.25 Linear Feet


This collection houses military records documenting Major Lawrence S. Barker's service in the United States Marine Corps (1942-1946) and United States Marine Corps Reserves (1946-1964). The collection also includes military publications, photographs, postcards, correspondence, and ephemera from the World War II era.

Biographical/Historical Note

Lawrence S. Barker, Jr. was born on January 15, 1920 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Barker held a degree in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on January 10, 1942 and reported for active duty as a Private First Class in Quantico, Virginia in September of that year. Barker was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in December 1942 and stayed in the Reserve Officer Class until early March of 1943, when he was ordered to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina as an Engineer Officer Instructor in surveying and mapping.

Barker was promoted to Lieutenant in August 1943 and was subsequently ordered to New Zealand to join the 2nd Marine Division. Barker participated in the four-day battle of Tarawa in the Pacific on November 20-23, 1943. He then spent time in Hilo, Hawaii before sailing (via Pearl Harbor) to Eniwetok Atoll on May 21, 1944. Barker then proceeded to Saipan on June 15, 1945, where his division suffered many casualties. His division also spent time on the island of Tinian.

Barker's division landed in Okinawa on April 1, 1945. In Okinawa, Japanese Kamikaze bombers destroyed several ships. Barker was later transported back to Saipan, where he prepared maps for the invasion of Japan, termed the "Olympic Operation" by military officials. During this time, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the division began preparing new maps to meet the needs of an occupation instead of an invasion. Barker landed in Nagasaki in September 1945 and began surface and aerial surveys to map the damage caused by the atomic bomb.

Barker was promoted to Captain in November 1945 and landed back in the United States on December 24, 1945. He was released from active duty on January 30, 1946 and moved into inactive reserves in April of 1946. Barker was promoted to Major in April 1951 and retired in 1964. Lawrence S. Barker passed away on September 20, 1994 in Knoxville, TN.


This collection consists of two boxes.

Previous Citation

This collection was originally listed as MS.2991. It was then listed as CSWS.WWII.3.0010 until receiving its current number

Acquisition Note

This collection was donated through the University of Tennessee's Center for the Study of War and Society.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA