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U.S.S. Barb

Among the most successful of all American fleet type submarines, U.S.S. Barb (SS-220) made a total of twelve war patrols, five in the Atlantic, operating out of Rosneath, Scotland, and seven in the Pacific. During the course of the war, Barb was credited with sinking a total of 26 enemy ships, including the escort aircraft carrier Unyo.

During her final five war patrols, under the command of  Eugene B. Fluckey, Barb set a record for innovation and aggressiveness unmatched in the submarine service. In a series of rocket attacks during Patrol Twelve, Barb became the first American submarine to launch rockets in combat. During the same patrol, volunteer saboteurs slipped ashore and blew up a coastal train, in the process becoming the only Americans to invade one of the Japanese home islands during the war. An incursion into Nankwan Harbor, on the China coast, during the eleventh war patrol earned Fluckey the Medal of Honor.

This volume contains the full text of the twelve war patrol reports filed by Barb’s wartime commanding officers. Also included is a Foreword by former Barb officer Everett P. “Tuck” Weaver, an Introduction, and extensive notes.

From the Introduction

The U.S.S. Barb (SS-220) was laid down on 7 April 1941 at the Electric Boat Company yard on the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 2 April 1942, sponsored by Mrs. Charles A. Dunn, and commissioned on 8 July 1942, under the command of Lieutenant Commander John R. Waterman.

Barb was a Gato class fleet type submarine, 311’ 9” overall, with a 27’ 3” beam, and an average surface draft of 17’. As built, she was armed with a 4’/50 deck gun and ten 21” torpedo tubes, distributed six forward and four aft. In addition to the ten torpedoes in the tubes, Barb was designed to carry 14 reloads. She was also armed with machine guns and various small arms.

The Gato class boats were the second most numerous class of American submarine in World War II, with 73 commissioned. Their number was exceeded only by the 122 boats of the Balao class, which was essentially a Gato with a tougher pressure hull, allowing an extra 100 feet of rated diving depth, and an extremely cut down conning tower fairwater to minimize surface silhouette.

Following shakedown and training, Barb was assigned to SubRon 50, based at Rosneath, Scotland. Her initial patrol  was taken up with reconnaissance and serving as a beacon submarine for Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa. This initial patrol was under U.S. Control, after which the squadron was placed under the operational control of the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer (Submarines).

Trade Paperback, 6 x 9, 433 pages, isbn: 978-1-932606-10-2

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