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Works by McClelland Barclay in the Navy Art Collection

"Heroes of the South Seas" sketches: SUBMARINERS


Chief Torpedoman T.H. Larson
McClelland Barclay
Conté crayon on paper, 1943

Drawn March 25, 1943
Chief Torpedoman Theodore H. Larson, USN
22 years in Navy - joined at 17 - 20 years submarine duty.
Awarded Navy Silver Star - submarines off Japan coast

Told how submarine personelle [sic] hear paterns [sic] of depth-charges exploding when destroyers are searching them out as submarine lies soundless down under the sea.

"You hear 'em getting closer and closer. One exploded within 50 feet of us. Then the boys start giving away their candy and cigarettes - probably won't have anymore use for 'em. Finally the explosions seem to be getting farther away - you feel better then. Sometimes when we'd fire a torpedo at a destroyer and miss they drop a depth charge so we'd think we hit 'em when we'd come up to get pictures of them thru the peroscope [sic] they be there waiting to get us."


LT Robert K.R. Worthington
McClelland Barclay
Conté crayon on paper, ca. 1943



Lieut. Robert K.R. Worthington - received "Silver Star" for service in submarines - Executive Officer


LCDR T. Burton Klakring
McClelland Barclay
Conté crayon on paper, 1942



T. Burton "Burt" Klakring - LT Comdr. submarines - Naval Academy 1927 - 18 years age of entrance - in subs about 14 years.


LCDR Arnold F. Schade
McClelland Barclay
Conté crayon on paper, 1943



Stamford Conn. - Lt Comdr. Arnold F. Schade - USN - Academy class 1933 - entered age 17 - Wrestling - swimming principle [sic] sports - height 5'11 1/2", weight 170 - in submarine 8 years. Youngest sub-commander 1943 - NAVY CROSS - Silver Star - First Silver Star for sinking 3 Jap destroyer leaders on the 4th of July 1942 - and for 5 other ships on the second patrol. These destroyers were sunk in the Aleutians - 111

One of the funniest things that ever happened aboard was when during a nite [sic] engagement there was one of the men off watch asleep in the after torpedo room - we fired a torpedo from one of the stern tubes. The torpedo hit our target and exploded and the force of the explosion lifted him right off his bunk, turned him over in the air and he landed face downward. He didn't even wake up during the whole action. We were being depth bombed by enemy destroyers - they were close. The cook was standing by his range to tend his lunch. A depth charge went off right close by. The concussion of the explosion made a pan jump up from the stove right into his hands. The cook said 'I have jumped for many pans but that's the first time a pan ever jumped to me.'"

"We had got one ship troop convoy and a few nites
[sic] later met a Jap gunboat at close quarters - very dark nite [sic] - he turned to ram us - we rammed him first - sub was badly crippled. He opened up on us with deck guns and killed most of our bridge watch that included Captain Howard Gilmore (New Orleans). He was instantly killed. Got two men below who were very seriously wounded. One had his leg blown off - the other lost his arm below his right elbow. We submerged but we had bullet holes in the conning tower which nearly flooded us out - it caused us to lose all auxilliary [sic] power and started an electrical fire. We staid [sic] down for 20 minutes and then made a 'battle surface' (bob up and man all the guns) and found the gunboat had sunk.

When the Australians replaced our damaged bow they put two little kangaroos there - as a sort of figure-head. It is now our most prized distinctive marking.

[Editor's note: In his official fourth Patrol Report for USS Growler (SS-215), Lieutenant Commander Schade states that Captain Gilmore gave the order to "Clear the Bridge" after the hail of gunfire and before he died. According to the surviving Officer of the Deck who was on the bridge with Gilmore, the Captain also said, "Take her down" in his final living moments, thereby refusing aid and ordering his men to safety. Although the stirring words "Take her down" do not appear in the official report, they became a part of submarine history. Captain Gilmore was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on 13 July 1943.]


U.S.S. Growler (SS-215)
McClelland Barclay
Oil on canvas, May 1943


This painting was presented to the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton, Connecticut after the War by Commodore James Fife where it remains on display today. Barclay knew and sketched Fife when he was still a Captain (see bottom of this page). The inscription in the lower right reads:

"For Captain J. Fife, USN and his shipmates
with my admiration and gratitude
for their many kindnesses-
McClelland Barclay USNR
Southwest Pacific 1943"


LCDR Carter L. Bennett
McClelland Barclay
Conté crayon on paper, ca. 1943



Carter L. Bennett - USN -Lieut. Comdr. Submariner
Nashville Tenn. Enlisted in NAVY at 18 years -gained appointment to Naval Academy through competitive exams. Naval Academy class 1933 - submarines since 1935. On his first trip his skipper received Navy Cross - excutive [sic] officer silver star - one crew member received Navy Cross for act of exceptional presence of mind and courage - sunk 29000 - 600 tons damaged one destroyer.

"I don't think there is an officer who gets a medal who wouldn't say it really belongs to the boys."


CDR Henry C. Bruton
McClelland Barclay
Conté crayon on paper, ca. 1943



Comdr. Henry C. Bruton - USN. Naval Academy class '26 - entered at 17 years - in subs 14 years - Navy Cross with two stars - 4 patrols in enemy waters - sank 76,700 tons - besides damage aircraft carrier 22000 and 9000 tanker.



CDR Creed C. Burlingame
McClelland Barclay
Conté crayon on paper, ca. 1943



Comdr. Creed C. Burlingame USN of Louisville, KY - sank 60,000 tons Japanese shipping including an enemy submarine and a destroyer also damage[d] another 30,000 tons. Decorations: Silver Star, Navy Cross with gold star - equivalent of receiving Navy Cross twice.

He has a little gold Buda [sic] within arms reach of the periscope given him by the crew. He said, "Before we go into action I always rub his belly for good luck."

I asked Comdr. Burlingame if anything funny ever happened aboard his sub and he replied, "Lots of Times - for instance - I had a right smart colored mess boy from Tuskogee Miss. He was about to serve me lunch when the Lookout sung out 'Japanese transport close aboard thru [sic] mist on starboard bow.' Mess boy dropped the whole dish of creamed tunafish right in my lap and leaped to his torpedo station - we put three fish into her. She sank."


CAPT James Fife
McClelland Barclay
Conté crayon on paper, 1942



Capt. James Fife USN - Naval Academy class 1918 - entered 17
Decoration - Distinguished Service Medal - for part in directing submarine in Philippines - Netherlands East Indies Campaign.

"[I was a] naval Observer with British submarines Aug. 1940 to Apr. 1941- with British on one patrol down Bay of Biscay - antisubmarine war - went to Gibraltar in Aircraft carrier H.M.S. Argus - attacked by subs and Nipper class cruiser on Xmas day - in Xmas 1941 in Manila I came most near being hit by bomb - From Gibraltar in British sub Triumph patrol off Sardinia to help convoy thru Malta. Made another sub patrol in eastern Meditterranian [Mediterranean] attack on the Island of Castelarisso [Castellorizo] held by Italy - Flew to with Anthony Eden and went thru [sic] the April bombing of London - some of the worst especially Apr. 18 - 480 planes over London that nite[sic]. When those 1700 lbs. go off they do not make as much a sharp noise - more like a great roar - with a terrific surge of air felt at least 3/4 of a mile away. Surprisingly few are killed. The nearest bombing was in Malta when the Germans were trying to get the Aircraft Carrier Illustrious. In Manila chief of staff to Commander Submarines Asiatic Fleet. In submarine tender Holland when war broke out. Conducted sub operations from Manila until Xmas day when we had to get out- then carried on from Corregedore [Corregidor]. Kept on until New Years eve when we were driven out because we could not service subs any longer with oil and food. Then all the sub operating staff left in two subs and carried on from Soeurabaya [Sourabaya]. Staid [sic] in Java until driven out - last of Feb came to Australia - Freemantle, Australia - port city for Perth on the west coast. Staid [sic] there as Commander submarine squadron 2 - until Nov 1st - when I was sent to New Guinea during the Boona [Buna] campaign as Adm. Carpender representative with Gen. McArthur [MacArthur] - until middle of December - recalled assigned commander Task Force no. 42 - rode bomber on several mission to look over sea area."


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Online Exhibits that feature McClelland Barclay's work

Recruiting Posters for Women from World War II -- The WAVES
Navy Art Gallery exhibit: The Normandy Invasion

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17 May 2005