Allied Warships

Barbel (SS-316)

Submarine of the Balao class


USS Barbel being launched on 14 November 1943.

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassBalao 
Pennant316 
Built byElectric Boat Co. (Groton, Connecticut, U.S.A.) 
Ordered6 Jun 1942 
Laid down11 Mar 1943 
Launched14 Nov 1943 
Commissioned3 Apr 1944 
Lost4 Feb 1945 
Loss position7° 49'N, 116° 47'E
History

USS Barbel (Lt.Cdr. Conde Leroy Raguet, USN) was caught, on the surface or broaching, by a Japanese aircraft, probably a naval aircraft of the 761st Naval Air Flotilla based on Labuan. This aircraft attacked, dropping 2 depth bombs which the claimed to have both hit (one near the sail), and causing the sub to sink "in a cloud of smoke, flames and water" off southwest Palawan island and west of Balabac Strait, in position 07º49'5"N, 116º47'5"E. All hands lost.

 

Commands listed for USS Barbel (316)

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CommanderFromTo
1T/Cdr. Robert Allan Keating, Jr., USN3 Apr 1944Dec 1944
2T/Lt.Cdr. Conde Leroy Raguet, USNDec 19444 Feb 1945 (+)

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Notable events involving Barbel include:


The history of USS Barbel as compiled on this page is extracted from her patrol reports.

This page was last updated in June 2016.

16 Apr 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) departed New London, Connecticut for Newport, Rhode Island for torpedo trials.

19 Apr 1944
Having completed her torpedo trials, USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) returned to New London, Connecticut from Newport, Rhode Island.

29 Apr 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) was docked at New London.

30 Apr 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) was undocked.

23 May 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) arrived at Key West, Florida from New London, Connecticut.

31 May 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) departed Key West, Florida for Colon, Panama Canal Zone. She was escorted out by USS SC 1064 (Lt.(jg). C.S. Lenz, USNR).

4 Jun 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) arrived at Colon, Panama Canal Zone from Key West, Florida. She was escorted in by USS PC 1231 (Lt. W.N. Burdick, Jr., USNR).

6 Jun 1944
Having transited the Panama Canal, USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN), arrived at Balboa.

7 Jun 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) departed the Panama Canal Zone for Pearl Harbour.

21 Jun 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) arrived at Pearl Harbor. Voyage repairs were made from 22 June to 27 June. From 28 June to 12 July she conducted final training before she was to be sent on her 1st war patrol.

15 Jul 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating Jr., USN) departed Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the Ryukyu Islands. She was escorted out by USS PC 571 (Lt. F. Stoddard, USNR).

For the daily and attack positions of USS Barbel during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

19 Jul 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating Jr., USN) made a short stop a Midway for small voyage repairs and to top off with fuel before proceeding for her patrol area later the same day.

5 Aug 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant passenger/cargo ship Miyako Maru (1013 GRT, built 1914) off Tokuno Jima in position 27°36'N, 128°54'E. Miyako Maru was en-route from Kagoshima to Okinawa with troops. 287 people died when she sank.

(All times are zone -9)
1050 hours - In position 27°36'N, 128°54'E sighted smoke off the south-east tip of Tokuno Shima. Commenced tracking.

1203 hours - The target appeared to be a medium transport, zigging on a base course of 225°. She was escorted by three 'PC-type' escorts. Manned battle stations. Got into a position ahead of the enemy's base course.

1233 hours - Fired four bow torpedoes from 1200 yards. After firing the second torpedo the target zigged and the setup was quickly changed.

1235 hours - The fourth torpedo was seen to hit the target blowing the stern off. The target began to settle stern first. The escorts then came up so turned and went deep. Ran silently to the eastward.

1241 hours - Three depth charges were dropped, well astern.

1250 hours - One depth charge, aft.

1303 hours - One depth charge, close, overhead.

1325 hours - One depth charge, well aft.

1403 hours - By now the escorts had been sucessfully evaded. Went to periscope depth. Nothing in sight. Continued clearing the area to the eastward.

7 Aug 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) torpedoed and sank a Japanese merchant vessel in the East China Sea in position 27°36'N, 121°46'E.
We have not been able to identify the vessel that was claimed sunk.

(All times are zone -9)
1956 hours - In position 27°17'N, 128°18'E obtained SJ radar contact bearing 290°(T), range 16500 yards. Manned battle stations torpedo. Started tracking.

2047 hours - All ahead full.

2056 hours - In a position 75° on the starboard bow. Started in for attack keeping the bow towards the target.

2101 hours - In position 27°27'N, 128°24'E commenced firing six bow torpedoes.

2104 hours - Heard three timed torpedo hits. The pip of the target however did not disappear from the radar screen. She continued to proceed at about 7.5 knots. Decided to come in again for a stern shot.

2233 hours - Started firing four stern torpedoes. Two hits were seen and heard. The target sank two minutes after firing. Cleared the area on three engines, charging on the fourth.

9 Aug 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese army cargo ship Yagi Maru (1937 GRT, built 1943) and the Japanese merchant cargo ship Boko Maru (2333 GRT, former British Sagres, built 1904) north of Okinoshima in position 27°56'N, 128°47'E.

They were part of convoy MI-08. The convoy consisted of the above two mentioned ships as well as consists of army tanker Zuiho Maru (5135 GRT, built 1943), the Japanese merchant tanker Chihaya Maru (4701 GRT, built 1943), navy tanker San Diego Maru (7269 GRT, built 1928), troop transport Manila Maru (9486 GRT, built 1915), Sanko Maru (???? GRT, built ????), tanker San Luis Maru (7269 GRT, built 1928), troop transport Tsuyama Maru (6962 GRT, built 1916), army cargo ship Arabia Maru (9480 GRT, built 1918), tanker Ryusho Maru (2863 GRT, built 1944), fleet tanker Miri Maru (10564 GRT, built 1943), transport Tatsubato Maru (5396 GRT, built 1943), tanker Nittetsu Maru (5993 GRT, built 1943), army cargo ship Toun Maru (1915 GRT, built 1942) and tanker Eiho Maru (5068 GRT, built 1943). The convoy was escorted by frigates Kaibokan 1 and Kaibokan 18, torpedo boat Sagi, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary netlayer Kishin Maru (896 GRT, built 1941) (All links are offsite links).

(All times are zone -9)
0200 hours - Obtained radar contact bearing 200°(T) at a range of 25000 yards. Manned battle stations torpedo and commenced tracking. The contact subsequently developed into a convoy of three large ships and about six escorts including a destroyer. The convoy was zigging on a base course of 060°(T).

0323 hours - Barbel was now approximately 12000 yards ahead of the convoy, which could now be seen plainly through the binoculars. Reverse course and headed towards the convoy. Dived to radar depth.

0401 hours - Fired four bow torpedoes at a large transport followed by two more at another large transport. Three hits were obtained, thought the be the third, fifth and sixth torpedoes. Berbel meanwhile had gone deep.

0418 hours - Eight depth charges were dropped but none were close.

0424 hours - Nine more depth charges followed, again none were close.

0435 hours - Heard two large explosions, these were definitely not depth charges.

0446 hours - Heard breaking up noises on the bearing of the targets.

0728 hours - Returned to periscope depth. Nothing in sight.

13 Aug 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese guard boat Koan Maru (223 GRT) 2 nautical miles east of Amami Oshima in position 28°31'N, 129°18'E.

(All times are zone -9)
0050 hours - Obtained radr contact bearing 040°(T), range 14000 yards. Manned battle stations torpedo and commenced tracking. Shortly afterwards a second target was sighted near the first.

The night appeared fine for a surface attack. After 50 minutes of tracking determined that the larger target to be on a course of 192°, speed 6 knots. The leading ship (an escort ?) was on the targets starboard bow.

0155 hours - Commenced firing four torpedoes. Two hits were obtained. A tremendous sheet of flame was seen at the target which blew up and sank.

13 Aug 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) departed her patrol area for Majuro.

21 Aug 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) ended her 1st war patrol at Majuro. She was escorted in by USS Crouter (Lt. C.F. Braught, USNR).

From 22 August 1944 to 4 September 1944 she was refitted by USS Bushnell and Submarine Division 142 Relief Crew.

From 8 to 10 September 1944 training, including night training, was carried out.

13 Sep 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) departed from Majuro for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the East China Sea. She was escorted out by USS Crouter (Lt. C.F. Braught, USNR).

For the daily and attack positions of USS Barbel during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

25 Sep 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) attacked a convoy with torpedoed and sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Bushu Maru (1223 GRT, built 1918) off Tokara Gunto in position 29°50'N, 130°06'E.
At the same time the sub claims the sinking of a "600-ton destroyer escort" as well as that of a 4,000-ton freighter, neither of which are confirmed to be the case by Japanese sources.

(All times are zone -10)
1352 hours - In position 29°14'N, 129°47'E sighted smoke bearing 256°, range about 15 nautical miles. Commenced tracking.

1600 hours - The contact was seen to be made up of two ships, both engines aft transports.

1700 hours - In position 29°27'N, 129.41'E sighted a Jake aircraft patrolling over the targets.

2000 hours - Surfaced. The targets were not in sight.

2025 hours - Picked up the targets on the radar. Commenced end around to the east.

2100 hours - The target were proceeding at slow speed. They appeared to make rendes-vous with two escort vessels.

2115 hours - The targets speeded up again.

2147 hours - Range was now 7800 yards. Both escorts were visible, one ahead and one astern.

2200 hours - In position 29°50'N, 130°06'E commenced firing six bow torpedoes at the leading target from 3400 yards. One of the torpedoes exploded prematurely at a range of 600 yards from Barbel and shook her considerably. Three other torpedo hits were seen. One on the escort, thought to be a Chidori-class torpedo boat and two on the target, one forward, one aft. The escort soon sank, this was seen from the bridge and it's pip disappeared from the screen.

2205 hours - Started firing four stern torpedoes at the second target. One possible hit was obtained. The first target was seen to sink shortly afterwards and it's pip also disappeared from the radar screen.

Commenced reload and cleared the area at standard speed.

13 Oct 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) makes a torpedo attack in twilight on radar bearing against a convoy, claiming one hit and damage on a target identified as a 10,000-ton tanker and the sinking of a 1500-ton destroyer at position 29°38'N, 127°27'E. Neither claim is confirmed by Japanese sources.

(All times are zone -10)
0448 hours - In position 29°38'N, 127°27'E obtained radar contact bearing 267°(T), range 24000 yards. Manned battle stations torpedo and commenced tracking.

0510 hours - Contact tracking on base course 010°(T). Worked ahead for attack.

0530 hours - Altered course to close the track.

0537 hours - Altered course to head in for the attack. Range was 13000 yards. Targets course 340°(T), speed 10 knots.

0549 hours - Slowed down to shoot. Target's course now 015°(T), speed still 10 knots. Disposition of the convoy was as follows; two small transports well in van, then two escorts 2000 yardsahead of the main formation, next three large ships in rough column with a destroyer trailing on the starboard quarter.

0554 hours - Commenced firing six bow tubes at the leading target. No hits were obtained as the target changed course after firing. Swung for a quick setup on the next big target.

0558 hours - Commenced firing four stern tubes at the second big target, an oiler.

0559 hours - All ahead. Opened out on course 020°(T). We had not been sighted. Commenced reload forward.

0601 hours - One torpedo hit the oiler.

0602 hours - Two torpedo hits on the destroyer.

19 Oct 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) attacked but missed an Japanese auxiliary patrol vessel north of Amami Oshima.

(All times are zone -10)
1525 hours - In position 29°12'N, 129°34'E sighted a ship bearing 174°(T), range 8 nautical miles. It appeared to be a destroyer. Went to battle stations. Commenced approach.

1558 hours - In position 29°14'N, 129°34'E commenced firing four bow torpedoes from 1870 yards. The target was an armed patrol vessel of about 800 tons. No hits were obtained. Barbel was not detected ! and cleared the area at standard speed.

20 Oct 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) was ordered to proceed to Saipan.

21 Oct 1944
At 0830 hours, USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) made rendes-vous with USS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. H.K. Nauman, USN) in position 24°00'N, 130°00'E. A injured crewmember of Salmon was then taken over.

24 Oct 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Saipan. She was escorted in by USS PGM-9 (Lt. C. Morgan, USNR).

From 25 to 27 October emergency and voyage repairs were carried out by USS Holland.

30 Oct 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) departed from Saipan for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea (a short 10 day patrol before proceeding to Fremantle, Australia for refit). She was escorted out by USS Corbesier (Lt. H.V. Jones, Jr, USNR).

For the daily and attack positions of USS Barbel during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

15 Nov 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) attacked a convoy in the South China Sea about 250 nautical miles east of Tourane, French Indo-China, torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transports Misaki Maru (4396 GRT, built 1907) in position 15°04'N, 112°45'E, and later Sugiyama Maru (4297 GRT, built 1914) in position 15°15'N, 112°13'E after having damaged this last ship first.

Misaki Maru and Sugiyama Maru were the two ships in convoy MAYU-10 that was en-route from Manila to Yulin, Hainan. They were escorted by the Japanese minesweepers W-17, W-18 and W-20.

(All times are zone -8)
14 November 1944
0928 hours - In position 150°10'N, 113°50'E sighted smoke bearing 094°(T), range about 15 nautical miles. Commenced tracking.

1000 hours - Apparently there were five ships on a westerly course. Decided to get ahead and attack after dark. Enemy base course was 265°(T), speed 8 knots.

1900 hours - Manned battle stations torpedo and turned towards the convoy.

1920 hours - Two large targets were on the radar screen.

1946 hours - Turned in to attack. Range was now 10000 yards. Three escorts were present.

1954 hours - The convoy zigged towards, both escorts on the starboard side headed for Barbel, pinging. Came right to parralel the convoy and check the situation.

2021 hours - The two escorts were pursuing us to the northward. The convoy zigged to the south-west.

2055 hours - The escorts were successfully evaded. Came to course 220°(T) to make an end around.

2143 hours - On the port beam of the convoy, range 10000 yards.

2155 hours - Again turned in to attack.

2210 hours - In position 15°04'N, 112°45'E commenced firing six bow torpedoes. Two hits were heard and seen. The target was observed to be sinking. Barbel cleared the area at full speed until 2227 hours when she slowed down and commenced a reload.

2232 hours - Changed course to get parralel to the convoy.

2323 hours - Turned in for another attack.

2324 hours - The target and it's escort zigged directly towards us. Range was 2720 yards. This spoiled our bow shot but a nice stern hot could be made out of it.

2326 hours - The escort detected Barbel and opened fire. Tried to get the target between Barbel and the escort but the target also turned.

2327 hours - In position 15°03'N, 112°33'E fired no.7 stern tube. Hold the other three torpedoes.

2328 hours - Fired the other stern tubes.

2330 hours - A hit was felt. Did not see the flash but the target was enveloped in an enormous cloud of coal dust. He had also stopped shooting at us. Cleared the area at full speed.

2341 hours - Slowed down. Commenced reload aft.

2346 hours - Reload completed. Resumed tracking.

2358 hours - The target was tracking on a northerly course. The escort was still on the port quarter. Decided to cross astern and obtain an attack position on the starboard side.

15 November 1944
0018 hours - The escort was now on the starboard quarted so decided to remain on the port side.

0110 hours - The target began to zig left again.

0128 hours - Turned in to attack again.

0134 hours - The target was now dead ahead. Range was 6800 yards.

0139 hours - In a good position for a stern shot. The target however kept turing and the setup had to be made again and again.

0215 hours - In position 15°15'N, 112°13'E commenced firing four stern torpedoes. After firing all tubes went ahead full to clear the area. No. 8 torpedo was seen to hit and the target immediately broke in two.

17 Nov 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) departed her patrol area for Mindoro Strait.

17 Nov 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) departed her patrol area for Mindoro Strait. This was shortly afterwards changed to the Palawan Passage.

26 Nov 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) attacked but missed a Japanese escort vessel with six torpedoes west of Miri, Borneo in position 04°33'N, 112°50'E.

(All times are zone -8)
0409 hours - In position 04°33'N, 112°50'E radar contact bearing 276°(T), range 8870 yards. Manned battle stations torpedo and changed course.

0421 hours - Range decreased rapidly. The target appeared to be a destroyer. Set torpedo depth to six feet.

0425 hours - The target was tracking at 20-22 knots. Range was 3450 yards.

0430 hours - Fired six torpedoes. No hits were obtained. It is thought the torpedoes ran under. After firing Barbel cleared the area at hight speed. On firing it was seen that the target was more like a destroyer escort then a destroyer.

1 Dec 1944
During the early morning hours, USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN), made the southbound passage of Lombok Strait.

7 Dec 1944
USS Barbel (Cdr. R.A. Keating, Jr., USN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Fremantle, Australia. She was escorted in by USS YMS 11 (Lt. D.C. Maughan, USNR).

5 Jan 1945
USS Barbel (Lt.Cdr. C.L. Raguet, USN) departed from Fremantle, Australia for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the South China Sea.

8 Jan 1945
USS Barbel (Lt.Cdr. C.L. Raguet, USN) made a short stop at Exmouth Gulf to top off with fuel.

3 Feb 1945
USS Barbel (Lt.Cdr. C.L. Raguet, USN) sent a message reporting numerous aircraft contacts daily. She had been attacked by aircraft three times with depth charges, and would transmit a message tomorrow night giving more information. This was the last heard from her.

Media links


The Last Patrol

Holmes, Harry


U. S. Submarines in World War II

Kimmett, Larry and Regis, Margaret


U.S. Submarines Through 1945

Friedman, Norman


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