Norman Barker

Norman Barker graduated from 88(D) in January 1963. He was awarded one of the major trophies, the Queen’s Medal, and was also awarded the prize for Mathematics and Science. He joined 111 Sqn on Lightnings at RAF Wattisham. Liked by everyone, he was talented, he was clever, he had a marvellous sense of humour and he had a heart of gold. Rick Peacock-Edwards typifies this in his eulogy for Norman: “Norman was one of the first fighter pilots who I met in the Officers’ Mess after my arrival at Wattisham. I was in awe of them all. Norman made a point of making me welcome and including me in the activities, and antics, of a typical group of fighter pilots. Need I say more!”
After 111 Sqn, Norman was posted to 92 Sqn, Gutersloh, and while the runway was resurfaced, 92 Sqn was deployed to Bruggen. Spirits were high, and Mess games and other high-spirited activities were common. One such game involved leaning over a bar stool trying to pick up a matchbox on the floor with one’s teeth, not as easy as it sounds. Norman was almost successful, except that he left his two false front teeth (the result of a hockey ball?) firmly embedded in the matchbox. There was much hilarity where Norman immediately saw the funny side, remarking that “his false front teeth were no longer a secret.”
Promoted to Sqn Ldr, the rapid rise in his career would have continued had he not begun to suffer medical problems which flying category and restricted his postings to ground appointments including the MoD in London.
Norman retired from the RAF in 1993, aged 50, and sadly passed away on the 21st May 2021.