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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Patch contributed by Mike Smolinski

Barbel (SS-316)

Radio Call Sign: November - Zulu - Kilo - Papa

Balao Class Submarine: Laid down, 11 March 1943, at the Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT.; Launched, 14 November 1943; Commissioned USS Barbel (SS-316), 3 April 1944; Sunk on 4th patrol by Japanese ASW, probably a naval aircraft of the 761st Naval Air Flotilla based on Labuan off South entrance to Palawan Passage 7 49.5' N x 116 47.5' E; 4 February 1945, all hands lost; Struck from the Naval Register, (date unknown). Barbel received three battle stars for her World War II service. Partial data submitted by Ron Reeves, HTC, USNR (ret.)& uboat.net.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 1,526 t., Submerged: 2,242 t.; Length 311' 9"; Beam 27' 3"; Draft 15' 3"; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10kts; Submerged Endurance, 48 hours at 2kts; Operating Depth, 400 ft; Complement 6 Officers, 60 Enlisted; Armament, ten 21" torpedo tubes, six forward, four aft, 24 torpedoes, one 5"/25 deck gun, one 40mm gun, one 20mm gun, two .50 cal. machine guns; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Propulsion, diesel-electric reduction gear with four main generator engines, General Motors diesel engines, HP 5400, Fuel Capacity 118,000, four General Electric motors, HP 2,740, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
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Barbel 15k The Barbel, known as the Barbus barbus. Courtesy of freshwater-fishing-guide.com.
Barbel 182k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the Barbel's (SS-316) keel laying, 11 March 1943 at Electric Boat Co, Groton, Connecticut. Courtesy of petloveshack.com.
Barbel 362k Keel laying of the Barbel (SS-316), 11 March 1943 at Electric Boat Co, Groton, Connecticut. The Barbel construction was financed by the Third War Loan drive in Connecticut which generated $42,400,000 used to build six submarines at Electric Boat Co, Groton, CT. Courtesy of Electric Boat Co, Groton CT, compliments of Submarine Museum and Archives, New London, CT. Photo & text submitted by Jim Converse.
Barbel 81k A little less than a year and a month after her keel was laid, the Barbel (SS-316) is about to get her first taste of champagne at her christening on 14 November 1943 at Electric Boat Co, Groton, Connecticut, by sponsor, Martha Allen (Mrs. Harold A. Allen), of Tacoma, Washington. Mrs. Allen was nominated by the honorable John M. Coffee, member of the Sub-committee on Naval Appropriations. Mrs. Allen wrote affectionately of "her Barbel" after the event. Electric Boat photo obtained from US Submarine Museum, New London, Connecticut, submitted by Jim Converse.
Insert photos courtesy of usmilitariaforum.com.
Barbel 321k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the twin launching of the Barbel (SS-316) & Cavalla (SS-244) 14 November 1943 at Electric Boat Co, Groton, Connecticut, at Electric Boat Co, Groton, Connecticut.Photo courtesy of usmilitariaforum.com.
Barbel 663k The Barbel (SS-316) slides down the shipways 14 November 1943 at the Electric Boat Company, Groton, Conn. Photo # 80G-216385 from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert.
Barbel 43k Commemorative post mark on the occasion of the launching of the Barbel (SS-316), 14 November 1943 at Groton, Conn. Courtesy of Electric Boat Corporation.
Barbel 71k Bridgeport CT., photo, November 1943:
Left to right: Quartermaster, Third Class Nicholas Jacob VanRingelesteyn; Fire Controlman, Second Class Julian Rudek; Seaman, First Class John Witte Bogert; Electrician's Mate, First Class Orville Walter Anderson. The i.d. of J.V.R. is positive, the rest are speculative.
Photo & i.d.courtesy of Patti Farnum DeMare.
Barbel 200k Cover of the invitation for the Barbel's (SS-316) Commissioning Party at Polly's Inn, Norwich, Ct., 24 March 1944.
Note: Polly's Inn seemed to be the place to have commissioning parties at. The crews of the Dorado (SS-248) & Shark II (SS-314) as well as numerous other boat's crews meet there. Polly's Inn burned down in 2004.
Photo contributed by Christina Bogert DePonte, Cranford NJ, niece of S1c John Witte Bogert, who perished when Barbel (SS-316) was bombed and sunk 4 February 1945. Submitted by Jim Converse.
Barbel 37k Invitation for Barbel's (SS-316) Commissioning Party at Polly's Inn, Norwich, Ct., 24 March 1944. Photo contributed by Christina Bogert DePonte, Cranford NJ, niece of S1c John Witte Bogert, who perished when Barbel's (SS-316) was bombed and sunk 4 February 1945. Submitted by Jim Converse.
Barbel 172k The Barbel's (SS-316) Officers & Chief Petty Officers pose for a Commissioning Party photo at Polly's Inn, Norwich, Ct., 24 March 1944.Photo submitted by Jim Converse, courtesy of Jack Seese, Grove City, Ohio, first cousin of Lt (jg) William M. Tiffany, Assistant Communications Officer, who was attached to Barbel from commissioning through her fatal fourth patrol.
Barbel 201k The Barbel's (SS-316) crew pose for a Commissioning Party photo: Lt Cmdr Robert A. Keating, Jr, Commanding Officer, is seated in second row, seventh from the left. Lt. Claude L. Goodman, Executive Officer, is seated in second row, eighth from the left. Photo & text submitted by Jim Converse, courtesy of Jack Seese, Grove City, Ohio, first cousin of Lt (jg) William M. Tiffany, Assistant Communications Officer,(seated third from right), who was attached to Barbel from commissioning through her fatal fourth patrol.
Barbel 274k The Barbel (SS-316) crew and her extended family; crews' wives, mothers, sisters, fiance's, girlfriends and guests at their sides, enjoying the evening at Polly's Inn in Norwich CT 24 March 1944. Commanding Officer, Lt Cmdr Robert A. Keating, Jr and wife, Minnie, are seated in third row, ninth and tenth from the left.
The first person in the front row on the right is Quartermaster, Third Class Nicholas Jacob VanRingelesteyn; with his wife Rhena Pauline [Farnum] sitting next to him.
Barbel departed for Pearl Harbor and the Pacific War Theater on 6 May 1944.
Photo & text submitted by Jim Converse, courtesy of Jack Seese, Grove City, Ohio, first cousin of Lt (jg) William M. Tiffany, Assistant Communications Officer, who was attached to Barbel from commissioning through her fatal fourth patrol.
Additional text i.d. courtesy of Patti Farnum DeMare for Nicholas Jacob VanRingelesteyn.
Barbel 30k Autographed photograph of Commander Robert A. Keating, Jr, Commanding Officer of the Barbel (SS-316) from commissioning March, 1944 to completion of first three War Patrols, transferred from the boat 27 December 1944. The photo was taken in 1945, just after Keating was awarded the Navy Cross for performance during Barbel's first war patrol.
Commander Keating assumed command of Rock (SS-274) 23 February 1945, taking her on one war patrol from Fremantle, Australia. Rear Admiral Keating attended the dedication of the Barbel Memorial in Casper, Wyoming in June, 1984. He died in December, 1995.
Personal photo of Rear Admiral Robert A. Keating, USN (Ret) compliments of Christina Bogert DePonte, niece of S1c John Witte Bogert, who was aboard Barbel when the boat was bombed and sunk, killing the entire crew of 81 men, in South China Sea, 4 February 1945. Photo & text submitted by Jim Converse.
Barbel 21k Commissioning Ceremony commemorative envelope from the Barbel (SS-316), postmarked 3 April1 1944 at Electric Boat Co, Groton, Connecticut. Courtesy of Christina Bogert DePonte, Cranford NJ, niece of S1c John Witte Bogert, who perished when Barbel was bombed and sunk 4 February 1945. All rights reserved. Submitted by Jim Converse.
Barbel 172k Barbel's (SS-316) crew at Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, rest camp at completion of first war patrol, 26 August 1944. Photo taken by Cmdr Robert A. Keating, Jr, Commanding Officer of the Barbel with boat's periscope camera. Keating not in photograph. This may be the only rest camp photo taken before the boat was bombed and sunk in South China Sea, 4 February 1945. Exposed film taken to Chattanooga Tennessee, July 1945, by transferred Electrical Officer, Lt Edward T Bower, who mailed each next-of-kin listed on the fourth war patrol sailing list. Personal photo of Rear Admiral Robert A. Keating, Jr, (USN Retired), deceased 1995, submitted by Christina Bogert DePonte, niece of S1c John W. Bogert, who was on all four Barbel (SS-316) war patrols. Courtesy of Jim Converse.
Barbel 196k Officers of the Barbel (SS-316) presenting their 10-kill battle flag to the camera. The Barbel is moored alongside the Fulton (AS-11), at Tanapag Harbor, Saipan on 29 October 1944.
Those possible to identify are: kneeling, first from left; Lieutenant Edward Bower, second from left & holding the flag; Lieutenant Commander William Mann Butler, third & in the middle holding the flag, Lieutenant Donald Stires Harris.
Standing first on left; Lieutenant (jg) Charles George Glotzbach; Standing next to him might be Lt. Edmund B. Kneisel, the Engineering Officer; Standing third on left; Cdr Robert A. Keating, Jr, Academy nickname "Little Fella" Commanding Officer; fourth on the right might be Layton Goodman, Lt Cmdr, USN, Exec; fifth on right is Lt(jg) William M. Tiffany, Assistant Communication Officer.
Photo courtesy of Charles R. Hinman,Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, & On Eternal Patrol
Barbel 296k The crew of the Barbel (SS-316), most of whom will be K.I.A. in a little over four months from the time this photo was taken, present their 10-kill battle flag to the camera. The Barbel is moored alongside the Fulton (AS-11), at Tanapag Harbor, Saipan on 29 October 1944.
Cdr Robert A. Keating, Jr, Academy nickname "Little Fella" Commanding Officer of the Barbel for the first three war patrols is in second row, first officer behind the battle flag.
Front row, far left is Lt(jg) William M. Tiffany, Assistant Communication Officer, who would later be K.I.A. with the rest of the crew on 4 February 1945.
Photo donated by Jack Seese, Grove City, Ohio, first cousin of Lt(jg) William M. Tiffany, USNR, K.I.A. aboard the Barbel (SS-316), 4 February 1945.
Photo & text submitted by Jim Converse.
Barbel 154k 1941 Naval Academy Yearbook photo of Lieutenant Edward Bower, who transferred off the Barbel (SS-316) before her final patrol. When word was received of her loss, he took the responsibility of writing to the families of each of the Barbel's crew to inform them of the loss of their loved ones. Courtesy of Jim Converse & Charles R. Hinman, Director of Education & Outreach,
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, & On Eternal Patrol.
Barbel 3.32k 41 photo PDF of Barbel's (SS-316) history & 3 WW II patrols. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Barbel 365k Barbel's (SS-316) first sinking was on 5 August 1944, when she sank the Japanese merchant passenger/cargo ship Miyako Maru off Tokuno Jima. Photo courtesy of wrecksite.eu.
Barbel 172k One of Barbel's (SS-316) victims, FS(U^ Bushu Maru, sunk on 1944.9.25 at 29.46N,129.40E. Photo courtesy of homepage3.nifty.com. & Google Earth.
Barbel 169k On 15 November 1944, the Barbel (SS-316) 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 (4422 BRT) in position 1510'N, 11240'E, and Sugiyama Maru (4379 GRT) in position 1514'N, 11214'E.
The Sugiyama Maru is seen here as the Tysla, made at Tyne shipbuilders in 1914.
Text courtesy of uboat.net
Photo courtesy of tynebuiltships
Palawan 5k While on her 3rd war patrol and operating in the South China Sea some 250 miles east of Tourane, French Indo-China, Barbel (SS-316) (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Keating) attacks a convoy, torpedoing and sinking the Japanese troop transports Misaki Maru (4422 BRT) in position 15.10N, 112.40E, and Sugiyama Maru (4379 BRT) in position 15.14N, 112.14E. Photo & text courtesy of Great Circle Mapper - Karl L Swartz / uboat.net.
Barbel 44k Conde Le Roy Raguet, Lieutenant Commander (Commanding Officer) of the Barbel (SS-316), at the time of her loss.USN photo submitted by Jack Reynolds, Cary, Illinois, brother of TM3 Franklin Reynolds, crew member of the Barbel, and kept in a photo album that their mother made in memory of Franklin.
The photo was sent to Mrs. Reynolds by the parents of Lt Cmdr Raguet, Captain E. C. and Mrs. Helen G. Raguet, Eustis, Florida, with their Christmas greeting, December, 1945.
Photo courtesy of Jim Converse.
Fremantle 365k This plaque was unveiled 20 March 1995 by His Excellency Major General P.M. Jeffery OA MC, Govenor of Western Australia to commemeorate the sacrifices made by Allied submarined that operated out of Fremantle, Western Australia during WW II. Photo courtesy of Ron Reeves.
Barbel 50k December 1998 photo from NASA / Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory of Balabac Island at Lat/Lon : 8/117. The Barbel (SS-316) is believed to lie sunk somewhere off these waters. NASA photo # STS088-723-1 from Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, courtesy of reefbase.org.
Barbel 100k Google Earth satellite photo of the site and surrounding islands of Barbel's (SS-316) last approximate position based during post-war debriefings. This position is thought to be the final resting place of the Barbel and her crew. Photo courtesy of Google Earth.
Barbel 36k Commemorative photo in honor of the memory of the crew of the Barbel (SS-316).Photo courtesy of Tom Kermen. Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
Tolling the Boats 117k Joyce DaSilva, the wife of Jesse DaSilva of the Tang (SS-306), one of the nine survivors of the boat, tosses a flower into a reflecting pool to honor the memory of one of the 52 submarines lost during World War II at the National Submarine Memorial-West on board Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif. On this Veterans Day, the Submarine Veterans of World War II transferred ownership of the memorial to the U.S. Navy.

The following text is from The Coming Fury by Bruce Catton., pg. 478.
"Major Sullivan Ballou of Rhode Island was killed in the battle, and just before it he had wrote to his wife, Sarah, to tell her that he believed he was going to be killed and to express a tremulous faith that could see a gleam of light in the dark:
"But O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and float unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you in the gladdest days and in the gloomiest nights, always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your chest it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait, for we shall meet again!"
Text i.d. courtesy of Marlynn Starring.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Chuck Senior, Vice Commander, Los Angeles-Pasadena Base, USSVI.
USN photo # N-1159B-021 by Journalist 2nd Class Brian Brannon, courtesy of news.navy.mil.
Barbel 177k A lifetime: Aged 36 years, 3 months & 11 days, Quartermaster, Third Class Nicholas Jacob VanRingelesteyn.
The reason for the 2/19/1946 date is that in compliance with section 5 of the Public law 490, the presumed death date is one day following the expiration of the 12 months missing status. That date therefore is the official & legal date of death for the entire crew, whether it reflects reality or not.
Photo courtesy of Patti Farnum DeMare.
Fremantle 1.72k Barbel (SS-316) Memorial, Oregon trail Veterans Cemetery, Natrona County, Wyoming. Photo courtesy of Barbel (SS-316) Memorial, via Robert Hurst.
Photo added 06/09/16.
Barbel 278k This could very well be the view the pilot of the Japanese plane saw of the Barbel (SS-316) as she filled his windshield as he dove on her off Balabac Island in the Southern Philippines on 4 February 1945 before he dropped two bombs; one landed on the submarine near the bridge. The sub plunged under a cloud of fire and spray.

In this photo, the Barbel is on the surface underway 31 July 1944 at or near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in training for First War Patrol. The signatures are l-r, Layton Goodman, Lt Cmdr, USN, Exec; Ed Kneisel, Lt., USNR, Engineering; Ed Allen, Lt Cmdr, USNR, Guns; Bill Butler, Lt, USN, First Lieutenant; Charles Glotzbach, Ensign, USNR, "Damage?"; Dave Burton, Lt(jg), Radar; Bill Tiffany, Lt(jg), Communications; Don Harris, Lt, USN, Communications; "Scoop" Bower, Lt, USN, Electrical; and at the bottom, center, R.A. Keating, Jr, Lt. Commander, USN, Commanding. The center notation is Barbel.

In Memorium:


In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 20th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, 1982, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S. submariners who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay / He brought me forth also into a large place: / he delivered me because he delighted in me./"
Partial text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo courtesy of Rear Admiral Robert A. Keating, Jr (Retired)
Personal photograph commemorating the beginning of Barbel's July, 1944 first war patrol, submitted by Christina Bogert DePonte, niece of S1c John Witte Bogert, via Jim Converse.

View the Barbel (SS-316)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
On Eternal Patrol
ComSubPac Report on the loss of USS BARBEL (SS 316) February 4, 1945 - 81 Men Lost
Ep-21 (1) - Victory At Sea ~ Full Fathom Five - HQ

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