Flag Flies for Dr. Larry Barrell

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Continuing its mission to take history out of the textbooks by honoring a local veteran each month of the school year, the Hampton Bays School District is paying tribute to Dr. Larry Barrell by flying an American flag in his honor throughout the month of February.

“The Hampton Bays School District is proud to honor Dr. Barrell for his many years of service to the United States,” said Superintendent Lars Clemensen.

The American flag was raised during a ceremony held at the Hampton Bays Elementary School on Feb. 6. During the event, students sang, read poems and spoke of Dr. Barrell’s bravery as a second lieutenant in the Air Force.  In 1942, he flew as a navigator on a Boeing B-17 bomber that traveled from the United States to South America, across the ocean to North Africa and finally to England.

While in England, he was assigned to the 388th Bomb Group, flying 35 combat missions over enemy territory in Germany, France and Holland.  Following the completion of his missions, he was reassigned to the Transport Command and worked to fly troops back home to the United States. During this time, he earned the Army Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

In 1945, Dr. Barrell was honorably discharged and went on to earn his master’s degree in political science at Columbia University and a PhD at NYU. He married and raised three children while teaching economics at Pace University.

Just prior to earning his PhD, Dr. Barrell was commissioned by the military to serve in Germany as a captain in the United States Air Force. In Germany, he was tasked with classified intelligence work. After arriving home, he finished his PhD and took a position with the United Nations Agency for International Labor Relations in Israel, where he worked with the Israeli government for a year. For his service, the Israeli government presented him with a medal.

Following his return home from Israel, Dr. Barrell became assistant to the president of Rockland Community College and after nine years, was named president of Hartford State Technical College.

Dr. Barrell, 93, resides in Moriches, and spends his afternoons at the Hampton Bays Senior Center on Ponquogue Avenue.