ISLAMORADA, FL – On Saturday, Monroe County Mayor Pro Tem Holly Merrill Raschein and Veterans Affairs Director Cathy Crane presented 100-year-old Captain Richard “Dick” Barnes, U.S. Navy, retired, a Mayor’s Proclamation at his birthday celebration with his family. His 100th birthday was Wednesday, May 10.
“Monroe County wishes to honor Captain Barnes on his 100th birthday with deepest gratitude for his service to our country and our Monroe County community,” said Merrill Raschein. “He truly defines why his era will always be known as the ‘Greatest Generation’.”
Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Barnes applied to the United States Navy Aviator Program in 1942, and after his return from the war, Barnes served actively and in the Naval Reserve for almost 40 years.
He was a Torpedo Bomber Pilot during World War II, an Officer-In-Charge Test Pilot during the Korean War, and concluded his career as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Reserve at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
Barnes and his family moved to Plantation Key in August 1960, two weeks before Hurricane Donna hit. Locally, he owned Venetian Shores Fishing Center for 27 years, was a member of the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Board of Directors, was in the Upper Keys Rotary Club, and was a founder and former commodore of the Upper Keys Sailing Club.
As an active diver, a true highlight of his was when he raised and displayed several treasures, including a 3-ton, 22-foot-tall anchor, from the El Leary wreck of the Spanish Galleons.
“He has lived a life characterized by devotion to his family, friends, hard work, honesty, humility, sacrifice, and honor, influencing countless people through his service to his community and country,” said Crane.
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