Artifact of the Week: Naval Air Corps Garrison Cap

Author: 
Jessica A. Bandel

For Raleigh resident Albert Sidney Barnes Jr., the war flew by in a flash. Formally inducted on October 26, 1918, the nineteen-year-old was a bona-fide member of the United States Navy for just thirty-five days before receiving a discharge. Barnes spent five days as an apprentice seaman attached to a naval aviation section stationed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before reporting to Norfolk, Virginia, to serve as a chief quartermaster.

News of the armistice broke on November 11, prompting the United States government to begin demobilizing the armed forces. Often, the last ones in were the first ones out. Such was the case for Barnes, who received his discharge on November 29, 1918.

Upon his release from military obligation, Barnes returned to his studies at Duke University and graduated from that place in 1920. He moved on to graduate coursework at Johns Hopkins in the following year before accepting a position as a science teacher at a high school in Tarboro. Eventually he landed a job testing tobacco at the Imperial Tobacco Company, at which place he was employed when he contracted tuberculosis.

In March 1925, Barnes’s condition necessitated a seven-month stay at Pine-Crest Manor, a relatively new tuberculosis treatment facility just outside the town limits of Southern Pines in Moore County. He was, unfortunately, no match for the disease, succumbing to its effects on November 13, 1925.