June 15, 1944 - October 9, 2023
The following was received from Mike's family after his passing.
Mike was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He served his country with honor and distinction as an Air Force pilot. He always said he would rather be “lucky than good” when it came to getting his job with Flying Tigers but he was both lucky and good. He will be most remembered for his quiet confidence and sense of humor.
He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed! Thanks for sharing with the Tiger family.
Condolences can be sent to his wife, Leslie, and the Barber family at:
The Barber Family
140 El Portal Drive
Shell Beach, CA 93449
Below are some pictures sent to us from the Barber family.
Mike as a young Air Force pilotMike with Dave Morris and Jean-Claude in the Training Department
Captains Barber and Jean-Claude Demirdjian during an Armenian Relief Flight, 1988.
The following is from a fellow Tiger pilot, Captain Bob Briggs:
The news about Mike really hits a soft spot. The description of his demeanor really hits the mark. I remember first meeting him at the LAX Hyatt Hotel during my initial DC-8 S/O training , where and classmates were in upgrade to F/O on the DC-8. WE were both hired at the same relative age of about 27.5.
Mike was the F/O that gave up his copilot seat, after a prompt by Captain Dave Cawthorne. They allowed ME to hand-fly (at altitude) from Chicago to Seattle on night. Those were the days, and pre-RVSM (of course). What a great honor and experience for this ‘newbie’.
Later, I flew F/O for Mike on the B727 with Tigers. Again, you couldn’t ask for a more even-handed individual.
Although NOT involved, I remember Mike’s MEM rejected T/O in a DC-10, as HE saw one of his own landing gear wheels roll past the airplane prior to rotation!!!!
Too close to home, and a ‘reality’ check as us ‘older’ guys begin to dwindle. Hoping for similar thoughts and remembrances when the baton is passed my way!
Mike, BLUE SKIES from. Memphis, Bouncin’ Bobby
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