28 March 1944: US Navy Submarines Sank 2 Japanese Vessels

Photo #: 19-N-83952 USS Barb (SS-220) In San Francisco Bay, near the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 3 May 1945. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Photo #: 19-N-83952
USS Barb (SS-220)
In San Francisco Bay, near the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 3 May 1945.
Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

On March 28, 1944, USS Barb (SS 220) sank Japanese cargo freighter Fukusei Maru off Rasa Island. Also on this date USS Silversides (SS 236) sank Japanese cargo ship Kairyu Maru off Manokwari, New Guinea.

USS Barb (SS-220). Members of the submarine's demolition squad pose with her battle flag at the conclusion of her 12th war patrol. Taken at Pearl Harbor, August 1945. During the night of 22-23 July 1945 these men went ashore at Karafuto, Japan, and planted an explosive charge that subsequently wrecked a train. They are (from left to right): Chief Gunners Mate Paul G. Saunders, USN; Electricians Mate 3rd Class Billy R. Hatfield, USNR; Signalman 2nd Class Francis N. Sevei, USNR; Ships Cook 1st Class Lawrence W. Newland, USN; Torpedomans Mate 3rd Class Edward W. Klingesmith, USNR; Motor Machinists Mate 2nd Class James E. Richard, USN; Motor Machinists Mate 1st Class John Markuson, USN; and Lieutenant William M. Walker, USNR. This raid is represented by the train symbol in the middle bottom of the battle flag. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 103570.

USS Barb (SS-220). Members of the submarine’s demolition squad pose with her battle flag at the conclusion of her 12th war patrol. Taken at Pearl Harbor, August 1945.
During the night of 22-23 July 1945 these men went ashore at Karafuto, Japan, and planted an explosive charge that subsequently wrecked a train. They are (from left to right):
Chief Gunners Mate Paul G. Saunders, USN;
Electricians Mate 3rd Class Billy R. Hatfield, USNR;
Signalman 2nd Class Francis N. Sevei, USNR;
Ships Cook 1st Class Lawrence W. Newland, USN;
Torpedomans Mate 3rd Class Edward W. Klingesmith, USNR;
Motor Machinists Mate 2nd Class James E. Richard, USN;
Motor Machinists Mate 1st Class John Markuson, USN; and
Lieutenant William M. Walker, USNR.
This raid is represented by the train symbol in the middle bottom of the battle flag. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 103570.

USS Barb (SS-220). In San Francisco Bay, near the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, January 1944. NHHC Photograph Collection, Visual-Aid Cards: Ships.

USS Barb (SS-220). In San Francisco Bay, near the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, January 1944. NHHC Photograph Collection, Visual-Aid Cards: Ships.

USS Silversides (SS 236), off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 21 August 1944. Note propeller guards. NHHC Photograph Collection, Visual-Aid Cards: Ships.

USS Silversides (SS 236), off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 21 August 1944. Note propeller guards. NHHC Photograph Collection, Visual-Aid Cards: Ships.

USS Barb (SS-220), 1942-1954

USS Barb, a 1525-ton Gato class submarine built at Groton, Connecticut, was commissioned in July 1942. That fall she was sent to operate in European waters, taking part in the Morocco invasion in November. Four more war patrols in the first half of 1943 took her to the Bay of Biscay, the North Atlantic and the Norwegian Sea but produced no damage to the enemy.

Photo #: NH 103534 Commander Eugene B. Fluckey, USN, Commanding Officer, USS Barb (SS-220) Wearing the Navy Cross on board Barb after receiving the medal from Commander, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, 6 December 1944. Note Barb's insignia painted on her fairwater, behind Commander Fluckey. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Photo #: NH 103534
Commander Eugene B. Fluckey, USN,
Commanding Officer, USS Barb (SS-220)
Wearing the Navy Cross on board Barb after receiving the medal from Commander, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, 6 December 1944.
Note Barb’s insignia painted on her fairwater, behind Commander Fluckey.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

In mid-1943 Barb went to the Pacific. That fall her sixth war patrol took her off China, where she damaged two enemy ships. Following a West Coast overhaul, Barb operated in the central and western Pacific during March and April 1944, sinking one ship and bombarding an enemy shore facility. After that, under Commander Eugene B. Fluckey (her skipper for the rest of the war), her combat record became remarkably successful. Barb‘s eighth war patrol, off northern Japan in May-July, deprived the enemy of five ships and saw the first of many gunfire actions that ultimately destroyed some twenty small vessels. On her ninth war patrol, operating with two other submarines between the Philippines and China in August and September 1944, Barb sank three more Japanese ships, among them the escort carrier Unyo. In addition, she rescued fourteen Allied prisoners of war. Her next two cruises, in the East China Sea during October 1944 – February 1945, were also made in close cooperation with other U.S. submarines. Barb sank two ships on her tenth patrol and four more on her eleventh, with a partial credit for another. For a daring late January attack into an enemy inshore anchorage Barb received a Presidential Unit Citation (her fourth) and Commander Fluckey was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Photo #: NH 63789-KN (color) USS Barb (SS-220) Battle flag used while Barb was commanded by Commander Eugene B. Fluckey, circa 1945. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Photo #: NH 63789-KN (color)
USS Barb (SS-220)
Battle flag used while Barb was commanded by Commander Eugene B. Fluckey, circa 1945.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Another Mare Island overhaul gave Barb a larger deck gun and a rocket launcher. Returning to northern Japan in June 1945 for her twelfth war patrol, both of these weapons were used to sink small craft and bombard shore facilities. Her torpedoes sank two more ships, a freighter and the escort Kaibokan No. 112, and some of her crew made raid ashore that destroyed a railroad train. Barb ended World War II among the dozen top-scoring U.S. submarines in terms of ships sunk, and third in terms of tonnage. If a disputed credit for another ship is counted, Barb would have ranked first in the latter category.

USS Barb weathervane Presented to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz by his former aide, Rear Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey, USN, circa the later 1950s or early 1960s. Fluckey had commanded the submarine during World War II. The weathervane features submariners' "dolphins" at its top, with the five stars of a Fleet Admiral immediately below, and a model of USS Barb (SS-220) as she appeared following her 1954 conversion to "GUPPY" configuration. It was erected in Nimitz' garden at 728 Santa Barbara Road, Berkeley, California. Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

USS Barb weathervane
Presented to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz by his former aide, Rear Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey, USN, circa the later 1950s or early 1960s. Fluckey had commanded the submarine during World War II.
The weathervane features submariners’ “dolphins” at its top, with the five stars of a Fleet Admiral immediately below, and a model of USS Barb (SS-220) as she appeared following her 1954 conversion to “GUPPY” configuration. It was erected in Nimitz’ garden at 728 Santa Barbara Road, Berkeley, California.
Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

After returning to the U.S. East Coast in September 1945, Barb was generally inactive until formally decommissioned in February 1947. The intensified Cold War brought her back into commission in December 1951, and she performed training service until mid-January 1954. Barb then underwent conversion to the streamlined “GUPPY” configuration and operated briefly on trials and training from August until December 1954, when she was loaned to Italy and renamed Enrico Tazzoli. The submarine served actively with the Italian Navy until 1972 and was sold for scrapping in April 1975.

The USS Silversides on permanent home display in Muskegon Michigan:

ussss1 ussss2 ussss3   Crash

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