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USS Barber (DE 161 / APD 57)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - Q - B - Q
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 2 stars
Second Row: European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal w/ 1 star - World War II Victory Medal - Philippine Liberation Ribbon

Class: Buckley
Type: TE (turbine-electric drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1400 tons (light), 1740 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 198
Barber (DE 161) Building and Operational Data:
  • 27 April 1943: Keel laid by the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va.
  • 30 May 1943: Launched, the sponsor, Mrs. Peter T. Barber, the mother of the Barber brothers, could not be present at the launching of the ship, christening was delayed until the day of commissioning
  • 10 October 1943: Christened and commissioned at Portsmouth, Va., sponsored by Mrs. Peter Barber, Lt. Eugene T. B. Sullivan in command
  • 23 October 1944: Reclassified APD 57, converted at the Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • 22 May 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 2 years and 7⅓ months of service
  • 27 November 1968: Struck from the NVR
  • 17 February 1969: Transferred to Mexico, renamed ARM Coahuila (B-7)
  • 22 December 1969: Sold to Mexico, still in service
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    The three Barber brothers; Malcolm John (22), LeRoy Kenneth (21), and Randolph Harold (19) were the sons of Peter and Gertrude Barber of New London, Wisconsin. Malcolm and Leroy enlisted in the Navy on 08 May 1940 at Chicago, Ill. Following training at Great Lakes, Ill., Malcolm was assigned to USS Colorado (BB 45), and Leroy was assigned to USS Oklahoma (BB 37). Youngest brother Randolph enlisted in the Navy a few months later and initially was also assigned to Colorado. The boys communicated regularly and Leroy told them that duty on Oklahoma was better than most other ships. They were reunited when Malcolm was transferred to Oklahoma on 27 August 1940, and Randolph joined them on 11 November 1940. Each was advanced in rate; LeRoy and Malcolm became firemen, first class, and Randolph, fireman, second class. The brothers were on board Oklahoma the morning of 07 December 1941 when the Japanese attacked, and all three perished when she capsized at her berth along Ford Island.

    "Soon stories of tragic losses began to fill the newspapers and dampen the holiday spirit. Perhaps none were more tragic than the story of Gertrude and Peter Barber of New London, Wis., whose three sons, LeRoy, Malcom and Randolph, were all stationed at Pearl Harbor, when Japan attacked. It was not uncommon in those days for members of the same family to be stationed on the same ship or military post. The Barber brothers were all crewmen on the USS Oklahoma. In December 1941, the Barber family received a photograph of the three young sailors. The boys had their picture taken and mailed it to their parents as a Christmas gift. When it arrived at the Barber home the envelope was postmarked, December 5, 1941. On 21 December, a solemn-faced police officer delivered a telegram from the War Department informing the Barbers that all three of their sons were missing and presumed dead". (From a 02 December 2007 article in the Sheboygan Press by Bill Wangemann)

    On Wednesday, 10 June 2021, the U.S. military announced that it had identified the remains of all three Barber brothers.

    USS Barber (DE 161) (1943-1946) was the first ship named in their honor.

    (Photo from The Official Web Site of the USS Oklahoma BB 37 thanks to Kevin King)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    Barber 159k 04 May 1943: Norfolk, Va. - The future USS Barber (DE 161) on the Destroyer Building Ways, south of Drydock 4. In the distance is the north end of Bldg 163. Brian Baird
    Chesapeake, Va..
    Barber 225k 20 May 1943: Norfolk, Va. - The future USS Barber under construction at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NHS-112-C)
    Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    Barber 141k 11 September 2021: New London, Wis. - U. S. Navy personnel carry the remains of the three Barber brothers, Randolph, Leroy and Malcom, to their final resting place at Most Precious Blood Cemetery in New London. In 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns for scientific analysis and possible identification, at which time; the DPAA laboratory identified the brothers. The Barber brothers’ remains were accounted for on 10 June 2021. Nearly 80 years after their passing, arrangements were made to return the Barber brothers home to New London for a graveside service with full military honors.

    (Photo by John Faucher from the Waupaca County News)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Archive Manager
    DE / FF / LCS Archive

    Barber History
    View the USS Barber (DE 161 / APD 57) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Barber's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 10 Oct. 1943 - 01 Nov. 1944Lt. Eugene Thomas Bradley Sullivan, USN (Comm. CO) (Los Angeles, Cal.)
    2.) 01 Dec. 1944 - 01 Dec. 1945Lt. D‘Arcy Virginius Shouldice (prior enl.) (Alexandria, Va.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
    made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
    a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
    Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    Navsource APD Pages, USS Barber (APD 57)
    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
    Back To The Main Photo Index

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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 08 April 2022