From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


The barb is a kingfish of the Atlantic coast.

(SS-220: dp. 1526; l. 311'9"; b. 27'3"; dr. 17'; s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 60; a. 1 4", 10 21" TT.; cl. Gato)

Barb (SS-220) was launched 2 April 1942 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. Charles A. Dunn, wife of Rear Admiral Dunn; commissioned 8 July 1942, Lieutenant Commander J. R. Waterman in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fle et.

Barb's war operations span the period from 20 October 1942 until 2 August 1945, during which time she completed 12 war patrols. During her first patrol she carried out reconnaissance duties prior to, and during, the invasion of North Africa. Ope rating out of Roseneath, Scotland, until July 1943 she conducted her next four patrols against the Axis blockade runners in European waters. Barb's fifth patrol terminated 1 July 1943 and she proceeded to the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., arri ving 24 July.

Following a brief overhaul period at New London, Barb departed for Pearl Harbor where she arrived in September 1943. It was in the Pacific waters that Barb found lucrative hunting and went on to compile one of the outstanding submarine re cords of World War II. During the seven war patrols she conducted between March 1944 and August 1945 Barb is officially credited with sinking 17 enemy vessels totaling 96,628 tons. Included were the escort aircraft carrier Unyo, sunk 16, Sep tember 1944 in 1918' N., 11626' E., and a frigate.

The last two war patrols conducted by Barb are deserving of special mention. Under Commander E. B. Fluckey she commenced her 11th patrol 19 December 1944. The patrol was conducted in the Formosa Straits and East China Sea off the east coast of C hina, from Shanghai to Kam Kit. During this patrol, which lasted until 15 February 1945, Barb sank four Japanese merchant ships and numerous enemy small craft. On 22-23 January Barb, displaying the ultimate in skill and daring, penetr ated Namkwan Harbor on the China coast and wrought havoc upon a convoy of some 30 enemy ships at anchor. Riding dangerously in shallow waters, Barb launched her torpedoes into the enemy group and then retired at high speed on the surface in a full hour's run through uncharted, heavily mined, and rock-obstructed waters. In recognition of this outstanding patrol, Commander Fluckey was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and Barb received the Presidential Unit Citation.

Upon completion of her 11th patrol Barb was sent stateside for a yard overhaul and alterations, which included the installation of 5-inch rocket launchers. Returning to the Pacific, she commenced her 12th and final patrol on 8 June. This patrol was conducted in the areas north of Hokkaido and east of Karatuto, Japan. For the first time in submarine warfare Barb successfully employed rockets against the towns of Shari, Shikuka, Kashaiko, and Shiritori. She also bombarded the town of Kaihyo To, with her regular armament, destroying 60 percent of the town. She next landed a party of crew volunteers who blew up a railroad train. For her outstanding feats during this patrol Barb was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.

Returning to the United States after the cessation of hostilities, Barb was placed in commission in reserve 9 March 1946 and out of commission in reserve 12 February 1947 at New London, Conn. On 3 December 1951 she was recommissioned and assigne d to the Atlantic Fleet, operating out of Key West, Fla. She was placed out of commission 5 February 1954 and underwent conversion to a Guppy submarine. Recommissioned 3 August 1954, she served with the Atlantic Fleet until 13 December 1954 when she was d ecommissioned and loaned to Italy under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

Barb received the Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, and eight battle stars for her World War II service.