GOUVERNEUR, NY — Irving Charles Barney was born Nov. 28, 1922, the son of Floyd and Catherine (Cook) Barney. He attended schools in Gouverneur, later moving with his family to Theresa.
He was inducted into the United States Army on Nov. 26, 1943, three days before his 21st birthday. In April 1944, he arrived in Europe with the Third Armored Division.
PFC Barney participated in the invasion of France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. On August 17, 1944, he was wounded in action in Belgium. Subsequently, PFC Barney and his comrades staged in the southern region of the Netherlands where he earned notoriety as a “Margraten Boy” with a Dutch family, the Timmers. The Third Armored Division began its final push into Germany, and on 11 April 1945, PFC Barney’s division discovered Dora-Mittelbau Concentration Camp near the town of Nordhausen. His unit immediately began transporting some 250 prisoners to nearby hospitals.
The division’s last major combat was the Battle of Dessau, where PFC Barney was killed in action on April 16, 1945. He was buried in Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands, where the Timmers Family has lovingly maintained his memory for 76 years.
His commendations include: Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Army Presidential Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign.
He was predeceased by his mother in 1943. His father passed in 1965. A sister Mary (Barney) Secor, formerly of Dexter and Theresa, passed in 2019.
He is survived by a sister, Aretta (Barney) Waite, of Watertown, and a brother, Raymond Barney, of Black River.
A graveside ceremony to honor his distinguished service will be held 1 p.m. Friday, April 16, 2021, in Riverside Cemetery in Gouverneur, under the direction of the Bruce Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be made at www.brucefh.com