b. 31/03/1899 Laredo, Texas. d. 09/11/1918 Meuse River, France.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 09/11/1918 Pouilly, France.
Barkley was born in Laredo in Webb County in south Texas, to Jose and the former Antonia barkley. He grew up with his Mexican-American father. He enlisted in the Army when the United States entered what was then known as the Great War. He used his Anglo father's name to avoid being segregated into a non-combat unit.
As a part of Company A, 356th Infantry, 89th Division in France, he and Sergeant M. Waldo Hatler swam across the Meuse River near Pouilly-sur-Meuse to get behind German lines and gather information about troop strength and deployments. They were able to gather the needed information; however, returning across the river, Barkley was "seized with cramps and drowned". Sergeant Hatler survived to bring the information back to their unit.
Barkley was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, one of three Texans to be awarded the Medal of Honor during World War I. Additionally, France awarded him the Croix de Guerre, and Italy the Croce al Merito di Guerra.
When information was desired as to the enemy's position on the opposite side of the Meuse River, Pvt. Barkeley, with another soldier, volunteered without hesitation and swam the river to reconnoiter the exact location. He succeeded in reaching the opposite bank, despite the evident determination of the enemy to prevent a crossing. Having obtained his information, he again entered the water for his return, but before his goal was reached, he was seized with cramps and drowned.
BURIAL LOCATION: SAN ANTONIO NATIONAL CEMETERY, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS.
Section G, Grave 1302