Passing of Georgia Lee (Barnes) Payne

Georgia Lee BarnesI am very sorry to report that, according to the Bolivar Herald-Free Press, ex-Santo Tomás Internment Camp (STIC) internee, Georgia Lee Barnes-Payne died on 28 June 2024 in Bolivar, Missouri. Georgia was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1929, and was interned in STIC along with her parents, G. Sheldon and Dorothy Lee Barnes, and with her sister, Carole Barnes (born 1931). A brother, Peter Sheldon Barnes, was later born in 1942. A second brother, Thomas Freeman Barnes, was born in 1945, shortly after STIC was liberated on 3 January 1945. Georgia was the last-living member of the interned Barnes Family.

They all traveled to U.S. on S.S. Cape Meares, leaving Manila on 10 April 1945, arriving in San Francisco, California, on 12 May 1945. They were en route to Kansas City, Missouri.

In 1997, Georgia authored Caught in the Crossfire: A Memoir. According to the publisher’s description, it is:

Georgia Lee Barnes, prewar photoThe true story of a young girl trapped between warring nations in the Philippines during WWII. To escape the terrifying bombings of Manila, she and her family flee to the hoped-for safety of a gold mine in the jungle. The family’s efforts, however, prove to be fruitless as they are finally imprisoned by the Japanese. Follow our young heroine during her three years of internment as she develops from an innocent twelve-year-old to a young woman, mature beyond her years.

Link to the full obituary at