Capers Gamewell Barr Was born in Georgetown, South Carolina, on November 15, 1912, son of Capers G. and Ruth Brinkley Barr. He attended The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, and received the degree of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of South Carolina, in Columbia. After graduation he was engaged in Civil Engineering work as an engineer for topographical surveys of small areas.
An honor graduate of the Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit at the Citadel, Class of 1934, he was commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve on June 20, 1938. Through subsequent advancement and his transfer from the Naval Reserve to the US Navy, he attained the rank of Captain, to date from July 1, 1957.
Called to active duty in July 1940, he reported to the USS King (DD-242) and was serving as Torpedo Officer and Communications Officer at the outbreak of World War II in December 1941, while the King was operating off the West Coast, a unit of the Pacific Fleet. From February 1942 until April 1944 he served as Officer in Charge of the Torpedo School of the Fleet Service School, and in May 1944 he joined the USS Savannah (CL-42). In that cruiser he served throughout the remaining war period and until January 1946 as CIC Evaluation and Air Defense Officer, during her second shakedown cruise (after overhaul and modernization) to the Caribbean. He was on board when the Savannah escorted the late President Roosevelt and his party to the “Big Three” Conference at Yalta in January 1945, and later when she was used as a Pre-Commissioning Training Ship in the Caribbean, at Pensacola, Florida, and finally when she became a troop carrier for “Magic Carpet” operations after the cessation of hostilities.
After fifteen months as CIC Training Officer for the Fleet Training Group, he served from July 1947 to July 1949 as Executive Officer of the USS Borie (DD-704). The Borie served as Gunnery School for Destroyers, Atlantic Fleet from April to October 1947, and subsequently as Training Ship of Destroyer Squadron 16, making numerous Reserve Cruises to Cuba, Panama, Trinidad, the Mediterranean, and other waters. When detached he reported to the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, where he completed the Junior Course in June 1950.
He next had duty as Tactical Project Officer of the Surface Anti-Submarine Development Detachment, Key West Florida. When detached in March 1951 he assumed command of the USS Sarsfield (DD-837), a destroyer of the Atlantic Fleet based at Key West. The Sarsfield was awarded the Battle Efficiency Plaque by Commander Destroyers, Atlantic, in 1952, while he was her Commanding Officer. In February 1953 he returned to the Surface Anti-Submarine Development Detachment, and served as Chief Staff Officer until October 1956.
He then reported as Commander Escort Squadron 10, Newport, Rhode Island, and after sixteen months in that command had brief duty in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, DC. Since July 1958 he has been a student at the National War College, Washington, DC.
Captain Barr has the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.
Captain Barr’s recreational interests are sailboating, hunting, fishing and golf.