From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Barbel, a cyrinoid fish, is commonly called a minnow or carp.

(SS-316: dp. 1526; l. 311'9", b. 27'3", dr. 16'10", s. 20.3 k.; cpl. 66, a. 1 5", 10 21" TT., cl. Balao)

Barbel (SS-316) was launched 14 November 1943 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn.; sponsored by Mrs. Harold A. Allen, and commissioned 3 April 1944, Commander R. A. Keating in command.

Barbel arrived at Pearl Harbor 21 June 1944 and commenced preparation for her first war patrol. Between 15 July 1944 and 4 February 1945 she carried out four war patrols and is officially credited with sinking six Japanese ships totaling 15,263 tons.

Barbel departed Fremantle, Australia, 5 January 1946 for the South China Sea on her fourth patrol. Late in January she was ordered to form a wolf-pack with Perch (SS-313) and Gabilan (SS-252) and patrol the western approaches to Balabac Strait and the southern entrance to Palawan Passage. On 3 February Barbel sent a message reporting that she had been attacked three times by enemy aircraft dropping depth charges and would transmit further information on the following night. Barbel was never heard from again. Japanese aviators reported an attack on a submarine off southwest Palawan 4 February. Two bombs were dropped and one landed on the submarine near the bridge. The sub plunged, under a cloud of fire and spray. This was very likely the last engagement of Barbel. She was officially reported lost 16 February 1945.

Barbel received three battle stars for her World War II service.