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USS Barb -SS-220- (Submarine)


FGM Lieutenant General
Oct 11, 2010
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Castelar, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina.
USS Barb (SS-220), Launched, 2 April 1942 and decommissioned, 12 Feb 1947.


The Barb would carry out 12 patrols during the WW2 to devastating effect on the enemy. On her 11th patrol alone, she sank four Japanese commercial ships and a number of other small vessels and executed a harrowing torpedo launch off the coa st of China, maneuvering back to safety through mined and rocky waters.

The sub's crew would earn the Presidential Unit Citation and her commander, Eugene Fluckey (1913/2008) would earn the Medal of Honor.


On Sept. 17, 1944, the Barb sank the Japanese carrier Un'yō, just a day after rescuing 14 British and Australian prisoners of war from the Japanese cargo ship Rakuyō Maru.

In July 1945, the Barb would claim its final conquest: not a ship at all, but a railroad train. Fluckey sent eight men from the surfaced sub under cover of darkness to go ashore on Karafuto, Japan. They embedded a nearby train track with explosives and raced back to the Barb as the bombs detonated, shooting train car pieces and debris 200 feet in the air. The Barb's battle flag featured a train in honor of this exploit.

In addition to Fluckey's Medal of Honor, Barb crew members earned six Navy Crosses, 23 Silver Stars and 23 Bronze Stars, among other awards.

Last edited:


FGM Major
Apr 16, 2013
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Blue Point NY USA
That train on the battle flag must have been quite the conversation piece alright.

I checked to see if the Barb was a floating museum somewhere and found this at Wikipedia:

Post-war history
Returning to the United States after the cessation of hostilities, Barb was placed in commissioned reserve on 9 March 1946 and decommissioned reserve on 12 February 1947 at New London, Connecticut. On 3 December 1951, she was recommissioned and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, operating out of Key West, Florida. She was again decommissioned on 5 February 1954 and underwent the Greater Underwater Propulsion Power Program (GUPPY) conversion. Recommissioned on 3 August 1954, she served with the Atlantic Fleet until 13 December 1954, when she was decommissioned a final time and loaned to Italy under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.

Italian Navy service history
The submarine was renamed Enrico Tazzoli (S 511) by the Italian Navy, after Enrico Tazzoli.

The submarine was eventually sold for scrap in 1972 for approximately $100,000 (currently $611,000). Admiral Fluckey noted that, had the crew known of this, they would have bought the sub and brought her back to the United States to serve as a museum ship.