George Toriello sent me this researched information on January 27, 2020, on Haxton J. Barnes, as the name reads on the Plaque at City Hall in Hackensack.  On the battle of Okinawa list of casualties, his name is listed as John Haxton Barnes.  John Haxton Barnes name is written on the City Hall Plaque as
“Haxton J. Barnes” are by all indications is the same person. 

He was born on June 21, 1915 in New York and according to the 1930 census Haxton J. Barnes was the adopted son of Claude B. Barnes and his wife, Blanche C. Barnes, and they lived on 16 Temple Avenue Hackensack, New Jersey.  The 1940 census shows that John Haxton Barnes was still living at the same address and was working for Aluminum Company of America at this time.  Military records show he registered for the draft on October 10, 1940 and enlisted into the service on February 10, 1942, shortly after Japans Bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. John Haxton Barnes was part of the 29th Marine Regiment, 6th Marine Division, which landed on Okinawa on April 1, 1945. History tells us Okinawa was the bloodiest Battle of World War II in the Pacific Theater against Japan. According to the Encyclopedia Britannic from April 1, 1945 until June 21, 1945. 12,281 Americans were killed and over 36,000 were wounded during the battle of Okinawa.  On the Japanese side, 110,000 combatants were killed and over 100,000 Japanese men, women, and children perished or committed suicide.  It was reported that Japanese families were given grenades to kill themselves as American soldiers approached to help. 

Click here to view Encyclopedia Britannica information on the Battle of Okinawa.  On May 30, 1945, John Haxton Barnes the adopted son of Claude and Blanche Barnes, who joined the Marines at the outbreak of the war died in a Portable Surgical Hospital of Lymphadenitis according to the U.S. World War II Hospital Admission Card Files, 1942-1945.  Lymphadenitis is the swelling of glands which are usually found near the site of an infection, tumor, or inflammation. Lymphadenitis may occur after skin infections or other infections caused by bacteria.  John Haxton Barnes military record reads he died of “disease”, and for this reason, he did not receive the Purple Heart.  We should always keep in mind awards are important to recognize valor, but they can never honor everyone’s sacrifice. 

Let us always be grateful for the sacrifice of men like John Haxton Barnes who may not have received an award on a technicality, but there death from disease or accident brought on by their service was no less honorable.

Corporal John Haxton Barnes was repatriated to St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Hackensack on July 28, 1949. 

Click here to view the military grave marker and the cemetery card signed by his mother
Blanche C. Barnes.

I do not know at the present time if Haxton J. Barnes is related to Irene Barnes, who was listed as one of the women in military service during World War II on the Wall Unit at Hackensack High School.

  Written by:
Bob Meli
February 26, 2020


Background image of the Battle of Okinawa by US Marine 6 Division obtained from: