Herald Alva Barnett was the youngest son of Alva and Gay (Marple) Barnett. Born in 1923, he was the younger brother of Denver Barnett.
Herald was a quiet boy, always respectful of his teachers, other adults, and the other students, even though some of his classmates were not so respectful of him. It sometimes is difficult and problematic to be the most intelligent student in class. Teachers are thrilled to have such a student, a bright star, who is eager to learn and ready with the answer to questions posed to the class. But on the playground, he was sometimes derisively greeted by a dullard with the chant "Har, Har, the little bright star." There are always some who resent the student with his hand up with the answer. But mediocrity is the way of the world, and always will be.
Right above: a school picture of Herald Barnett
Left: Herald and Denver's parents Gay (Marple) and Alva Barnett
With the "Pomp and Circumstance" processional still a familiar tune in his mind, Herald enrolled at Salem College in 1940 to major in Chemistry. Embarking in a field of study deemed "critical" to the war effort, Herald was deferred from the war-time draft until he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1944. After his return from military service during World War II, Harold graduated from West Virginia University in 1950 with a Master of Science degree in Chemistry. His Master’s thesis was titled "The Solubility of Orthochlorobenzoic Acid."
Right: a diagram of a molecule of C7H5CIO2: ortho chloro benzoic acid. It is a white powder.
Right: Herald Barnett in Lausane, Switerland
Left: Herald Barnett and Bob Giese in Marburg, Germany
Rank came quickly for Herald. When the Panzers led the German advances in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, scattering American front-line troops, Herald was an infantry sergeant. Within four months of the desperate German offensive in the Ardennes, a German surrender brought an end to the hostilities in Europe. As Herald’s infantry unit was being prepared for transfer to participate in the invasion of Japan at the 3rd Replacement Depot in Marburg, Germany, the nuclear bombs "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" brought an atomic end to the war in the Pacific. In a short time thereafter, Herald joined the ranks of demobilized soldiers and returned to the classrooms of beakers and Bunsen burners and a civilian career as a chemist.
Left: Salem College in Harrison County, WV
Right: Eleanor and Herald "Barney" Barnett
Herald Barnett was elected as vice president and later as president of this organization by its member chemists from all over the world, indeed a great honor and recognition of his role in the advancement of science in the steel industry.
Right: the warning label from a bottle of othochlorobenzoic acid