Mr. Reldon E. Barnes at the age of 19 enlisted in the Air Force on April 9, 1952 during the Korean War. He received draft orders shortly after. He reported for basic training at Fort Douglas, UT and then on to Parks Air Force Base in Pleasanton, CA. He was in basic training for eight weeks and was sent to Fort Collins, CO to be a veterinary tech. After a short while he decided that being a veterinary tech was not what he wanted to do so he transferred to Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, WY and worked in Shipping and Receiving. He was there for about a year and a half. Mr. Barnes was given orders to serve in the Korean War at Headquarters Far East Air Force (FEAF) in downtown Tokyo in 1954. He diligently served there for roughly 2 years.
While serving in the war Mr. Barnes was posted at the Classified Message Center. He Received messages around the clock and had to make distribution decisions as to what division they would go to. When Teletype room bells went off you knew there was action in another country. The bulk of the communications for the Air Force during the war came from Hawaii, Philippines, and Korea which came through their building. Working in the message Center Mr. Barnes had many experiences while stationed in Tokyo. Of all the communications that he handled he can still remember the difficulty of having see the daily casualty lists come through. His given rank when he enlisted with the Air Force was Basic Airman. At the conclusion of his service he had earned the rank of Airman First Class.
After serving his country Mr. Barnes met his wife Rozanne on a blind date. Reldon and Rozanne have been married and living in Lehi for 59 years. They have 5 children, 4 girls and 1 boy, 16 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren in December.
Mr. Barnes ran his Dad’s beef cattle farm when his father passed away. He started working at Deseret Chemical Depot in 1951, served four years in the Air Force and continued working for the Depot when he returned from service until retiring in 1989. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes enjoyed serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Cove Fort, UT in 2006.
Reldon and Rozanne enjoy doing most things together. They have spent years square dancing and now enjoy camping, going on walks together and spending time at their cabin with their children.
Thinking of veterans, Mr. Barnes states; “I was one of the lucky ones not having to be on the frontlines.” Reflecting on his experiences, “I have a good life, I enjoy good health and we have great children. We’ve been blessed”.
We feel honored to have met with Mr. Reldon E. Barnes and are grateful for his and other veterans’ service to our Country. We hope Mr. Barnes will feel our gratitude and appreciation during his trip to the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. with Utah Honor Flight. Thank you and all veterans for your service!