In October of 2018, Wayne Ralph, Barker's autobiographer, shared with me a number of his thoughts regarding the possible scope and consequence of the famous dog fight.
"The British authors Norman Franks and Christoper Shores are the experts on the aerial battles of this period.
"They note that there simply is not the weight of unequivocal German evidence to support three Fokker DVII fighters driven down/destroyed by 9:30am on a Sunday morning, 27 October.
"There are many hypotheses one can make: I like the notion of spinning down from 20,000 feet, wounded, and encountering 3 separate 5-plane formations stacked at 5, 000' intervals. 15,000 feet, 10,000 feet, 5,000 feet. That fits the tactical practices of the Germans.
"Leman had to be acutely aware that Barker was the RAF's most decorated surviving flyer without a VC. In the same way the British Navy fleet commander in 1945 knew that Robert Hampton Gray, a well decorated fighter pilot, was the last and only chance for a Canadian Navy aviator to have a VC. The political weight of that is a compelling motivation.
"I should point out that there were Canadian military historians (all now deceased) who had the same scepticism about Barker's VC that they held about Bishop's VC. Too little solid evidence and too much melodrama for their War Museum tastes.
"It is my opinion that the lack of evidence is not incontrovertible proof that certain events did not happen."
In a later exchange, Wayne said,
..."In short, it is safe to say there is no incontrovertible evidence to support 4 victories by Barker. But as I note in my biography, if anybody could have accomplished the feat, it was William Barker. I don't say he didn't do it, only that the complete evidence is lacking, except for the two-seater victory, which I believe to be documented."