Friday, February 04, 2011

In Memoriam - USS Barbel (SS-316) - Lost With All Hands - 04 February, 1945

USS Barbel (SS-316) was a Balao-class submarine. Similar in design to Razorback, she was built at the Electric Boat Company shipyard in Groton, CT. Commissioned the same day as Razorback - April 3rd, 1944, Barbel actually beat Razorback to the war zone by a month, departing for her first war patrol on July 15th, 1944. During three war patrols, Barbel sank six Japanese ships, for a total of 15,263 tons.

Operating as part of a "wolf pack" out of Fremantle, Australia, Barbel left for her fourth war patrol on January 5th, 1945. The wolf pack was assigned to patrol the waters between the Philippines and Malaysia. On February 3rd, Barbel reported that she had been depth charged three times by Japanese aircraft. She indicated that she would send more information the next night.

Barbel was never hear from again.

A postwar examination of Japanese records showed that Japanese aircraft attacked a surfaced submarine in the area on February 4th. Two bombs were dropped, with one exploding near the bridge.

USS Barbel was lost with all hands.


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