Sub-Lieutenant Stancu Barbu, Hero of Romania
Dr Adrian Gheorghe writes:
Stancu D. Barbu was the son of two poor people from a small village near Caracal, formerly Romanati County, now Olt County, in Oltenia, Romania.
He was born in 1916 in the village Frasinetul de Padure, Municipality of Dobrosloveni, about 10 km west of Caracal town, in Romanati County. His father and mother were Dumutru and Eliza Barbu.
He had three sisters, one of them, my mother, is still alive.
Stancu Barbu first went to school in Fasinetul de Padure village, and after this graduated from the college Ionita Asan from Caracal town, Romanati County.
He started to study agronomy in the University of Cluj, Transylvania, but soon, in the first year of his study, was called up for the army, only a short time before the start of WWII.
He graduated from the Military School in Ploiesti town, Prahova County, and, being one of the best students there, was accepted as a teacher and military trainer in the Military School for Officers for Anti-Aircraft Artillery, in Ploiesti town.
On the 29th July 1941, very soon after WWII started, he was on the Danube River, near Sulina, making a military mission there. He was the commander of a small AA battery placed on three boats on the river, the boats being full of cannons, soldiers and ammunition, transporting them to the front line.
During this mission, three Russian fighter aircraft, coming from the east, from the front line, attacked the boats and destroyed two of them. In these dangerous moments, Sub-Lieutenant Barbu decided not to leave the boat with the guns and ammunition in order to save himself, but instead sent the boat to the left bank of the Danumbe, where he prepared the artillery for use against enemy aircraft. He destroyed two of the fighters, but the third, being badly damaged, decided to dive on the field battery, and crashed on top of it.
It was a real tragedy, because the hell of the fires and bombs exploding killed my uncle instantly, and for some time only his military helmet was found.
His grave is in the town of Sulina, Tulcea County, and his remains were placed there on 29th July 1941.
This heroic death was communicated to his parents. His father, Dumitru, tried to find the grave by walking to the spot, with little food or money with him. After a time, the chief commander of the Romanian army decided to honour Stancu Barbu with the title of Hero, giving him a high military order for courage, and he gained the title of Hero and War Knight, as well as the military order of the Romanian Crown with Swords, the full title being:
Hero, Crown of Romania with the rank of Knight With Sword, Ribbon For Military Virtue.
In Romanian, this is:
Erou, Coroana Romaniei Cu Spade In Gradul De Cavaler Cu Panglica De Virtute Militara.
This was awarded post-mortem, as well as the full military rank of Sub-Lieutenant.
Also, a street in Brasov town, Brasov County was named after him, as a hero from WWII, one of the first soldiers killed in that war.
The attachments here include pictures of the hero, the official paper for the military order given to him, and some data about him, written by a newspaper or friends, and the official notification to his parents of his death, as well as the information that he had been awarded the title of Hero, given to him by the Romanian Army.
A few years ago, being in the small village of Frasinetul de Padure, to show my son, Alexandru, something of his ancestors, I found the official grave of Stancu Barbu, as well as the graves of another six heroes of my family, relatives of him and myself.
Photo: Alexandru Dasu
Permission: Public Domain
Alexis Project Filiasi/Romania
RC J/263/230/2007 CIF 21464151