Thread: Oral Histories
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:56 PM
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Interview with Thomas J. Barnes (by: Laura M. Calkins, PhD) - February 11, 2004
Interview Date:
11 February 2004
Thomas J. Barnes Collection
Media Type:
Oral History (Digital)
17 25:59 hr/min/sec
(USA/Foreign Service) Thomas J. Barnes was born in St. Paul, MN in 1930. He earned a BA in 1950 and an MA in 1951, both from the University of Minnesota. Tom was commissioned in the US Army in 1951 and, as an interrogator, he was assigned first to the 500th MI Group in Japan and then to the 525th MI Service Company in Korea (1952-53). After eight months with the Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps in Japan (1953-54), Tom spent two years at Ft Dix, NJ including service as a company commander. He entered the Foreign Service in 1957 and after intensive language training he held assignments at US diplomatic posts in Saigon (1958-60), Hue (1960-61), Bangkok (1962-64), Vientiane (1964-67), and Binh Long Province, RVN (1967-68). Tom served in Washington as the State Department's country officer on Laos (1968-70) and then held postings at Udorn (1970-71), AID/Nhatrang (1971-72), Tangier, Morocco (1972-73), Can Tho (1973), and Bangkok (1973-75). Tom held additional senior posts, including refugee coordinator at the US Embassy Bangkok (1977-78) and chair of the Interagency Working Group on Kampuchea (1979-80). After retiring from the Foreign Service, Tom worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Somalia and Switzerland (1980-90) and for the International Catholic Migration Commission (1991-95). Tom retired in Texas, and remains active as an author on Southeast Asian topics.
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