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Interview with Thomas J. Barnes

Item Number: OH0371
 Oral History
[This Item may contain objectionable materials.]
Number of Pages
Digital Object Type
Oral History
Laura M. Calkins, PhD
Physical Location
Time - Hr:Min:Sec


  • Existence: 11 February 2004

General Note / OCR

(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.

Language of Materials


Pub Credit Line
OH0371, Thomas J. Barnes Collection, The Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Archive, Texas Tech University

Added: 21 Jul 2004 [Updated: 20 May 2008]