USS Barry (DD-248/ APD-29)

USS Barry (DD-248/ APD-29) was a Clemson class destroyer that served on escort duties early in the Second World War, with a hunter-killer anti-submarine group in 1943 and then as a fast transport, taking part in the invasion of the South of France and Okinawa, where she was so badly damaged by a kamikaze attack that she wasn’t worth repairing.

The Barry was named after Captain John Barry, who served in the Continental Navy during the American War of Independence and in the Quasi-War with France.

The Barry was built by the New York Shipbuilding Co, at Camden, New Jersey. She was launched on 28 October 1920 and was sponsored by Barry’s great-grandniece Mrs. Shelton E. Martin. She was commissioned with a half complement on 28 December 1920 and placed in reserve commission.

USS Barry (DD-248) from the right
USS Barry (DD-248)
from the right

The Barry was fully commissioned on 15 November 1921 and joined the Atlantic Fleet. In October 1922 she left for the Mediterranean, where she served with the US Naval Detachment in Turkish Waters, helping to protect US interests in the aftermath of the First World War.

The Barry returned to the US on 10 August 1923 where she joined Destroyer Squadron 14 of the Scouting Fleet. Over the next decade or so she took part in the normal routine of operations, with her summers spent along the US East Coast and winters in the Caribbean, with a number of interruptions.

In August-September 1923 she was one of the destroyers that supported the US Army’s successful attempt to fly around the world, using four Douglas World Cruisers, two of which completed the trip. During the Barry’s stint of duty one of the aircraft was forced to ditch, and she was used to ferry her pilots to Pictou, Nova Scotia, where they collected a new aircraft to complete the trip.

During the first half of 1925 the Barry took part in the combined fleet exercises in the Pacific.

The Barry was present at the Presidential Naval Review of 4 June 1927.

USS Barry (APD-29), 9 February 1945 USS Barry (APD-29), 9 February 1945

In 1932 the Barry once again visited the Pacific to take part in the fleet exercises. On 20 December 1932, after her return to the east coast, she was placed into Rotating Reserve Destroyer Squadron 19 at Norfolk, Virginia.

This was only a short break, and she was commissioned once again on 20 June 1933. She then joined Destroyer Division 7 of the Scouting Force at San Diego.

She was present with the combined Battle Force and Scouting Force destroyers at Balboa in the Canal Zone on 27 October 1934.

In May 1936 the Barry returned to the Atlantic to serve as flagship of Destroyer Division 8. However this was a short-lived assignment, and late in 1936 she returned to the Pacific to join Destroyer Division 22 of the Battle Force.

From January-April 1938 she took part in exercises around Hawaii. On 21 May 1938 she was transferred to Destroyer Division 21, back in the Atlantic.

On 18 October 1940 she joined Destroyer Division 67 in the Panama Canal Zone. She was still with that unit when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, bringing the United States into the war. During 1941 she was used on escort and anti-submarine duties in the Atlantic.

1942

At the start of 1942 the Barry was used to escort convoys between Guantanamo Bay on Cuba, Panama, Curacoa and Trinidad. She also made at least one crossing of the Atlantic, leaving Greenock, Scotland, on 27 August with the battleship Arkansas (BB-33), light cruiser Brooklyn (CL-40), the transports West Point (AP-23) and Wakefield (AP-21), the troopship Monterey and DesRon 7, heading for New York.

In the second half of 1942 and the first half of 1943 the Barry carried out escort duties in the South Atlantic, and was based at Trinidad.

1943

This period of escort duty ended in the summer of 1943. From July to November 1943 she served as part of the hunter-killer anti-submarine group TG 21.14, built around the carrier USS Card (CVE-11), along with the Goff (DD-247) and Borie (DD-215). The group conducted two sweeps, the first from 30 July-10 September and the second from 28 September-8 November. During these patrols the group sank eight U-boats. On 1 November the Borie rammed and sank U-405, but was so badly damaged that she also sank. Barry and Goff were used to pick up her survivors.

From 28 November to 7 December she escorted the Albemarle from the US to Casablanca, then from Casablanca to Iceland (13-19 December) and back to the US (22-31 December 1943).

1944

Between 31 December 1943 and 17 February 1944 the Barry was converted into a fast transport, becoming APD-29 on 15 January 1944. She was then allocated to the forces operating in European waters. In April she was sent to Mers-el-Kebir in Algeria where she practiced her new role. Her first combat mission in her new role was Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the South of France. Between 15-20 August she was used to land troops on the islands of Levant and Port Cros and on the French mainland.

This was followed by a period of escort duty in the western Mediterranean, before returning to the United States on 23 December 1944.

1945

In 1945 the Barry made a brief contribution to the Pacific War. She passed through the Panama Canal on 22 February and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 24 March. Another period of training followed, before she departed for Okinawa, arriving off the island on 16 May.

On 25 May, after ten days of patrol and escort duties, the Barry was attacked by two kamikaze aircraft 35 miles to the north-west of Okinawa. One hit her just below the bridge, wounding 28 of her crew. The resulting explosion set fire to some of the Barry’s own leaking fuel oil, which then threatened the forward magazine. At 13.40, only 40 minutes after the impact, the order to abandon ship was given. However this turned out to be premature. The Barry continued to settle in the water, until the forward magazine, which had been threatened by the fire, was under water. A skeleton crew from the Barry, Sims (APD-50) and Roper (APD-20) were sent back onboard, and were able to put out the remaining fires and keep the Barry afloat.

The Barry was towed to the anchorage at Kerama Rette, arriving on 28 May. After all of the effort that had been made to save her, it was judged that she was too badly damaged to be worth repairing, especially with so many new destroyers entering service.

On 21 June 1945 the Barry was decommissioned, for use as a decoy at Ie Shima. She was towed out of the harbour at Kerama Retto by the Lipan, escorted by LSM-59. The plan ended in disaster. Late in the day two kamikaze aircraft attacked the small convoy. One hit and sank LSM-59 and the other hit the Barry. She sank on the following day.

Barry received the Presidential Unit Citation as a unit of TG 21.14 and four battle stars for her actions in the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II, for Task Group 21.14 (27 July-10 September 1943 in American waters) and again for Task Group 21.14 (25 September-9 November 1943) in European waters, the invasion of the south of France and Okinawa.

Displacement (standard)

1,190t

Displacement (loaded)

1,308t

Top Speed

35kts
35.51kts at 24,890shp at 1,107t on trial (Preble)

Engine

2-shaft Westinghouse geared tubines
4 boilers
27,000shp (design)

Range

2,500nm at 20kts (design)

Armour - belt

 

 - deck

 

Length

314ft 4in

Width

30ft 10.5in

Armaments

Four 4in/ 50 guns
One 3in/23 AA gun
Twelve 21in torpedoes in four triple mountings
Two depth charge tracks
One Y-Gun depth charge projector

Crew complement

114

Launched

28 October 1920

Commissioned

28 December 1920

Sunk by Kamikazes

21-22 June 1945

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann . The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 October 2019), USS Barry (DD-248/ APD-29) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Barry_DD248_APD29.html

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