Joshua Barney, born in Baltimore on 6 July 1759, went to sea at an early age and commanded a merchantman at 15. He entered the new Continental Navy in October of 1775 in Hornet. Later, in Wasp, he participated in engagements with HMS Roebuck and HMS Liverpool in April 1776 and subsequently helped to defend Nancy after that merchant brig had run aground attempting to slip through the British blockade to Philadelphia.
Appointed a lieutenant in the Continental Navy in June 1776, Barney sailed on 6 July, his 17th birthday, as Sachem's executive officer. After that sloop captured British letter of marque Three Friends on 12 August, Barney commanded the crew that took the prize to Philadelphia.
Transferred to Andrew Doria, Barney sailed on 23 October for St. Eustatius for a cargo of military stores. While returning home, that warship captured the 12 gun British sloop Racehorse and the armed British snow, Thomas, of which Barney was appointed prize master. While sailing home, the prize was retaken by the British on 4 January 1777.
Exchanged on 20 October 1777, Barney was appointed 1st lieutenant of Virginia but again became a prisoner when that long-blockaded new frigate was captured on the night of 31 March 1778 while attempting to escape to sea. Exchanged again in August 1778, Barney, finding no openings in the Continental Navy, served in privateers until becoming 1st lieutenant of Continental sloop Saratoga in the summer of 1780.
After escorting the packet Mercury to sea, Saratoga fought an inconclusive battle with the British brig HMS Keppel and captured the rum-laden snow Sarah and the sloop Elizabeth. Early in October, when Saratoga encountered a 22 gun letter of marque in company with another ship and a brig, Barney led the 50 man boarding party that captured Charming Molly and took command of the prize. However, the leaking Charming Molly was retaken by the ship of the line HMS Intrepid.
After escaping from England's Old Mill Prison, Barney commanded Hyder Ally. While escorting a convoy of merchantmen down the Delaware in April 1782, that Pennsylvania state ship encountered the frigate HMS Quebec, the 20 gun ship HMS General Monk, and several Loyalist privateers. General Monk and privateer Fair American bore down on the American convoy as Barney attempted to shepherd it back upriver. After giving Hyder Ally two broadsides, Fair American went after the convoy. While waiting for his larger opponent, Barney held his fire keeping his gunports closed to lure General Monk in close, instructing his helmsman to steer in the opposite direction from that called out. Accordingly, when Barney ordered the helm to port, General Monk's captain gave the same command. However, Hydr Ally's helmsman actually turned to starboard, causing General Monk to become entangled with Barney's ship. Barney lashed the two ships in a position that enabled Hyder Ally's starboard guns to rake General Monk, rendering her deck a shambles, wounding her captain and killing most of her other officers. Barney's men then cut General Monk's rigging and made her unmanageable. The last British officer on his feet, a midshipman, then struck General Monk's colors.
In General Monk, renamed General Washington, Barney voyaged to Haiti with dispatches to the French fleet, and thence to France where Benjamin Franklin presented the young officer to the court of Louis XVI. The voyage home, begun early in January 1783, brought news of peace and recognition of independence to America.
Before returning to civilian life, Barney retained command of General Washington, the last active ship of the Continental Navy, until May 1784, making several voyages to Europe on diplomatic missions. He became a post captain in the French Navy early in 1795, but his service to France brought him little but the empty distinction of reaching a rank equivalent to that of commodore. As a civilian, the former naval hero made two unsuccessful campaigns for Congress and supported retaliation for British depredations against American shipping.
When war came, Barney departed the Chesapeake Bay on 15 July 1812 in the 12-gun schooner Rossie and captured 18 ships, including His Majesty's packet ship Princess Amelia, before returning on 21 November 1812. Upon learning that a British naval force had entered the Chesapeake Bay in July 1813 and was preying on American shipping and coastal communities, Barney presented President James Madison and Secretary of the Navy William Jones with a plan to defend the region. Approving his program, they appointed him Commodore of the Chesapeake Flotilla.
By 17 March 1814, when he put out of Baltimore and sailed south to meet the British, Barney had put together a force of 13 barges, two gunboats, and his flagship Scorpion, a 5 gun cutter. With this small flotilla, Barney played an adroit cat and mouse game as he opposed a vastly superior enemy until late in the summer. Then, hemmed in by an overwhelming more powerful enemy, he left a skeleton force to destroy the flotilla and struck out overland with 400 battle tested sailors to join in the land defense of Washington. Meanwhile, British General Ross’s 4,500 redcoats began their march north along the left bank of the Patuxent while Admiral Cockburn led a flotilla of small craft up the river on the right flank. As Cockburn's force hove in sight of the Chesapeake Flotilla, Barney's stubborn barges blew up in their faces.
On the morning of 24 August, Barney and his men hurried to join in a battle that was brewing near Bladensburg, Md. The action had already begun when they arrived, so the American sailors took up station in the third and final line of defense. After the British had smashed the first two American lines, only Barney and his flotillamen remained on the field with their five guns supported by some of the braver remnants of other units. The commodore, a conspicuous target on horseback, directed the fire at the oncoming redcoats. In all, his battery and 400 to 500 men stopped four British frontal assaults. However, ravines on both sides of Barney's position enabled the British to mount flanking movements that doomed Barney and his men. Support units on both flanks abandoned him and snipers harassed the embattled sailors. The commodore's horse was shot from under him; but Barney, ignoring the wound in his thigh, continued the fight until ammunition for the cannon ran out. At that point, he ordered his sailors to spike the guns and retire. Barney once more fell captive to the British.
The British went on to sack and burn the nation's capital before retiring to their ships. Barney was paroled and returned to his farm at Elkridge, Md., to convalesce. When exchanged he resumed command of the flotilla on 10 October and carried out that frustrating assignment until the flotilla was disbanded in April 1815.
Resuming private life Barney made several trips to Kentucky. In November 1817, President James Monroe appointed him Naval Officer of the Port of Baltimore. Late in October 1818, he began another journey to Kentucky with the intention of moving there, but, during a stopover at Pittsburgh occasioned by ill health, Barney died on 1 December 1818.
The third Barney (DDG 6) was laid down on 10 August 1959 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 10 December 1960; sponsored by Mrs. Harry D. Wortman; and commissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on 11 August 1962, Comdr. Joseph J. Doak in command.
After outfitting at Philadelphia, the guided missile destroyer put to sea on 27 September to conduct pre shakedown qualification tests off the Virginia capes and missile firings at Roosevelt Roads near Puerto Rico. At the conclusion of that mission, she arrived in Norfolk, Va., on 8 December and remained there until the end of the year. Barney embarked upon her shakedown cruise on New Year's Day 1963 and returned to Norfolk on 20 February for availability alongside a destroyer tender before moving north to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in mid March for a post shakedown overhaul. The guided missile destroyer completed the overhaul on 31 May and began normal operations out of Norfolk with the 2d Fleet. That fall, she headed for the Mediterranean Sea for a five month cruise with the 6th Fleet. During that deployment, she made port visits and conducted training operations with units of the 6th Fleet and with ships of Allied navies. The warship returned to Norfolk in March 1964 and resumed operations with the 2d Fleet.
In September 1964, she returned to sea to participate in a series of NATO exercises. Those evolutions continued into November when Barney headed back to Norfolk. Type training and 2d Fleet operations carried her into the New Year. On 15 February 1965, she embarked upon her second tour of duty in the Mediterranean. For the next five months, the warship steamed the length and breadth of the "middle sea" in the screen of a fast carrier task force. She visited a number of ports in France, Italy, and Turkey and participated in a bilateral, American French, antisubmarine warfare (ASW) exercise, Operation "Fairgame III." Barney returned to Norfolk on 12 July 1965. Second Fleet operations out of Norfolk kept her busy for the remainder of 1965 and the first two months of 1966. Those evolutions included a tour of duty at Key West, Fla., early in January as school ship for the Fleet Sonar School. On 1 March, Barney entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard to begin her first regular overhaul.
Repairs complete, the guided missile destroyer put to sea on 26 September to conduct ship's qualification tests and missile firings. On 7 November, she began a month of post overhaul refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Following that, the warship conducted a missile firing exercise on the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Range located near Puerto Rico and a gun shoot at Culebra Island. After a visit to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Barney returned to Norfolk on 19 December and remained in the Hampton Roads area for the rest of 1966.
In mid February 1967, the warship departed Norfolk bound for the Far East and her only cruise in the combat zone during the Vietnam conflict. That deployment lasted almost exactly seven months. On the outbound voyage, she stopped at Mayport, Fla.; Guantanamo Bay; the Panama Canal Zone; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Midway Island; Guam in the Marianas; and at Subic Bay in the Philippines. While off Vietnam, Barney served in various ways. She performed duty as sea air rescue controller, interdicted Viet Cong seaborne logistics, and shelled targets ashore in both North and South Vietnam. On several occasions, the guided missile destroyer came within range of enemy shore batteries. She suffered no hits, but a member of her crew was wounded by a shell fragment from a near miss. The warship also visited Hong Kong and ports in the Philippine Islands and in Japan.
Reversing her outbound itinerary, and adding a stop at Okinawa, Barney returned to Norfolk on 19 September 1967 and began a post deployment leave and upkeep period. Following the standdown time, the warship resumed operations along the Atlantic seaboard. That occupation continued until early in March 1968 when Barney departed Norfolk for her third deployment with the 6th Fleet. Exercises and port visits constituted her main fare as they had in the past. The warship concluded her assignment with the 6th Fleet on 12 July when she departed Pollensa Bay, Majorca, to return to Norfolk. She reentered her homeport on 22 July 1968.
After completing the usual post-deployment standdown, Barney resumed 2d Fleet operations out of Norfolk. Those operations included the annual winter exercise in the West Indian waters in January 1969 and ASW exercises off the coast of Florida late in February and early in March. She returned to Norfolk on 5 March 1969 to prepare for overseas movement. The guided missile destroyer stood out of Norfolk again on 1 April, bound for European waters. Later that month before Barney joined the 6th Fleet, she participated in a trilateral ASW exercise with American, Spanish, and Portuguese warships. That operation was followed by hunter killer exercises in cooperation with Wasp (CVS-18). Between 14 and 22 May, the guided missile destroyer visited Portsmouth, England, for the naval review celebrating the 20th anniversary of NATO. She resumed hunter-killer exercises on 22 May and continued them until 2 June when she entered the Mediterranean.
Immediately upon joining the 6th Fleet, Barney took part in a bilateral ASW exercise with other units of the fleet and ships of the French Navy. She then visited several ports before joining in an amphibious exercise conducted at Sardinia early in August. More port visits and a carrier screening exercise followed. Finally, on 28 September, she was relieved by Stickell (DD-888) at Pollensa Bay, Majorca. On the 30th, Barney headed back to the United States and arrived in Norfolk on 10 October. The customary leave and upkeep period followed. On 1 December 1969, the guided missile destroyer entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard to begin regular overhaul.
Barney completed repairs in June of 1970. After post-repair trials, she departed Norfolk on 7 July for refresher training in the West Indies. That assignment lasted until September when she began missile exercises. Those, however, were cut short by an urgent need for her presence in the eastern Mediterranean in response to the Jordanian crisis that resulted when open fighting erupted between the Jordanian Army and PLO guerillas. Barney departed Norfolk on 23 September and arrived on station with Task Group (TG) 60.1 on 7 October. Built around carrier John F. Kennedy (CVA-67), TG 60.1, with Barney in the screen, cruised the eastern Mediterranean until the crisis abated early in November. The guided missile destroyer operated with the 6th Fleet for about another month during which time she visited Spanish, Italian, and Maltese ports. On 8 December 1970, she departed Rota, Spain, to return to the United States. She tied up at Norfolk on the 15th and began post deployment and holiday standdown.
Resuming normal operations at and out of Norfolk on 15 January 1971, she underwent various efficiency inspections and got underway frequently for multiship exercises, type training, and single ship drills. She remained so occupied through the summer and into the fall. In October, Barney began preparations for another tour of duty with the 6th Fleet. On 1 December, the warship stood out of Norfolk wearing the pennant of the Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 2. She joined the 6th Fleet at Rota on the 9th and, for the next six months, cruised in the Mediterranean in company with other ships of the 6th Fleet, most frequently in a task group built around John F. Kennedy. The guided missile destroyer visited ports on the European, African, and Middle Eastern shores of the "middle sea." She frequently engaged in intelligence surveillance missions directed at Soviet ships in the area. She also participated in at least one bilateral exercise, with HMS Juno of the Royal Navy, as well as in a number of unilateral exercises with other units of the 6th Fleet. On 22 June, she departed the Mediterranean to return home. Barney arrived back in Norfolk on 29 3une 1972. After the normal leave and upkeep period, she resumed operations out of Norfolk. Those evolutions continued until 8 November when work began to convert her main propulsion plant to the use of Navy distillate fuel.
Barney's fuel conversion lasted until early in the spring of 1973. On 23 Apri1, she got underway from Norfolk for refresher training in the West Indies. The warship returned to Norfolk on 19 May and remained there unti1 25 June when she got underway to join NATO's Standing Naval Force, Atlantic. Barney arrived in Plymouth, England, on 6 July and operated with the NATO force in European waters for the next five months. During that period, she participated in three multinational maneuvers. One took her into the Baltic where she shadowed Soviet bloc warships. Another saw her cross the Arctic Circle, while the third took place in the North Sea. On 5 December, Barney headed back to the United States. She arrived in Norfolk on 17 December 1973 and began the usual post deployment standdown period. She remained at Norfolk through the end of the year and for the first three months of 1974. On 4 April, she made the short, round trip to Yorktown and back to unload ammunition in preparation for regular overhaul. She stood out of Norfolk on l0 April and arrived at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard the next day.
Barney completed her overhaul on 24 February 1975 and arrived back in Norfolk the 26th. She spent the rest of the year operating out of Norfolk, first engaged in post-overhaul refresher training and qualifications and, later, conducting normal Atlantic Fleet operations. That employment carried her into 1976. On 7 July 1976, the guided missile destroyer departed Norfolk bound for the Mediterranean. She reached Rota on 17 July and relieved Sellers (DDG-11). For the next six months, she cruised the "middle sea" making port visits and conducting exercises with other units of the 6th Fleet and with elements of allied navies. On 28 January 1977, Barney departed Leixoes, Portugal, to return to the United States. She tied up at Norfolk on 7 February and, after two weeks of leave and upkeep, went into the drydock at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs to her sonar dome. The guided missile destroyer completed repairs on 14 Aprt1 and, after sea trials, resumed normal operations out of Norfolk a week later. Training evolutions and inspections occupied her for the remainder of the year and for the first 10 weeks of 1978.
On 16 March 1978, Barney departed Norfolk on her way back to the Mediterranean. After stops at Bermuda and at Ponta Delgada in the Azores, she arrived in Rota on the 27th and joined the 6th Fleet. However, Barney remained in the "middle sea" only briefly. On 6 April, she transited the Suez Canal and became a unit of the Middle East Force. The warship conducted exercises and made port visits at various East African and Persian Gulf ports over the next four months. She also collected intelligence on Soviet ships operating in the vicinity. On 12 August, she retransited the Suez Canal and briefly rejoined the 6th Fleet. After a stop at Rota on 21 and 22 August, she headed back to the United States and reached Norfolk on 1 September. After three weeks of post deployment leave and upkeep, the guided missile destroyer entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 29 September for a regular overhaul.
The repairs lasted for more than a year. She returned to active duty on 5 November 1979 and for the remainder of that year conducted post overhaul refresher training. Over the next year, she operated along the east coast and in the West Indies training and undergoing inspections. On 18 November 1980, Barney stood out of Norfolk bound for the Mediterranean Sea. She arrived in Rota on the 29th and joined the 6th Fleet. On 21 December, she transited the Suez Canal once again and joined the Middle East Force. Again, she visited many East African and Persian Gulf ports. That assignment lasted unti1 22 February 1981 when she departed Bahrain to begin the long voyage home. Steaming via the Suez Canal and performing a short tour of duty with the 6th Fleet en route, Barney arrived back in Norfolk on 9 April. After post deployment leave and upkeep, she resumed 2d Fleet operations out of Norfolk.
Barney was decommissioned on 17 December 1990 and struck from the navy list on 20 November 1992. She was scheduled for dismantling on 29 July 2005.
Updates pending for 1981-1990.
Raymond A. Mann
7 March 2006