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USS Barb (SS-220)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Barb (SS-220)

USS Barb (SS-220) was laid down on 7 June 1941 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Co.; launched on 2 April 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Charles A. Dunn; and commissioned on 8 July, Lt. Comdr. John R. Waterman in command.

Following shakedown training off New London, the USS Barb (SS-220) joined Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 50 and, on 20 October, departed New London for the northwest coast of Africa. As part of Operation "Torch," USS Barb (SS-220)  conducted a reconnaissance patrol off Safi and obtained valuable weather information for the Allied fleet. In the spring of 1943, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral King, decided that SubRon 50 served no real purpose in the Atlantic and ordered it stateside to prepare for redeployment to the Pacific Fleet. 

Following a month in the yard, the submarine returned to Pearl Harbor on 15 February 1944 and conducted training exercises until early March. After loaded supplies, she embarked on her seventh war patrol which took her to the Guam Truk Saipan shipping lanes west of the Marianas and east of Formosa. For her 11th war patrol, USS Barb (SS-220) teamed up again with Queenfish and Picuda in "Loughlin's Loopers" and departed Midway on 19 December. The trio patrolled the Formosa Strait and the Chinese coast. On the first day of 1945, USS Barb (SS-220) sank a small Japanese boat with gunfire. USS Barb (SS-220) was credited with having sunk the third greatest tonnage of Japanese shipping destroyed during World War II, with 17 ships for 96,628 tons on her record.

Barb left Midway on 21 August to return to the United States. After touching at Pearl Harbor on 28 and 29 August and then transiting the Panama Canal on 15 September, she arrived at New London on 21 September. USS Barb (SS-220) remained at New London, in commission in reserve, until decommissioned on 12 February 1947 and assigned to the New London Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet. USS Barb (SS-220) was recommissioned on 3 December 1951 and assigned to Submarine Squadron 4. She spent the next three months training in the Narragansett Bay operating area; then steamed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for refresher training. 

Released from these duties on 16 January 1954, Barb steamed to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for a "Guppy" modernization. She was decommissioned there on 5 February; and, after alterations including topside streamlining and the addition of a snorkel, USS Barb (SS-220) was recommissioned on 3 August 1954. After sea trials and snorkel training off New London in November and early December, the submarine was decommissioned again on 13 December and and turned over to the Italian government on loan under the terms of the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

For a complete history of USS Barb (SS-220) please see its DANFS page.