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"Lucky Fluckey" & the Barb: A submarine that sank a, uhm, freight train

ModerationNow!

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The entertaining and incredibly impressive story of the WW2 era US submarine, the USS Barb(SS-220), as well as the success of the entire US Pacific submarine fleet, is a story that deserves far more attention and praise. This short video illustrates the incredible exploits of the USS Barb, its crew, and it's captain, commander Eugene 'lucky' Fluckey. They practically rewrote US submarine tactics, personally overcame the handicap caused by TERRIBLE torpedoes(which had hamstrung the US sub force for the first half of the war, due to being dangerously ineffective, some times more likely to circle around and destroy their own boats than the enemy ship)! So the Barb's crew disassembled their allotted supply of technically complicated torpedoes, and figured out how to make them actually work most of the time!

They set records, they were innovative, they turned submarine doctrine onto its head, and they seeked out the enemy where they thought they were safe. They made daring raids deep into foreign territory. They became the only American military unit to actually put troops on, and attack the Japanese homeland. But they always made it out alive, and never suffered a single crew death, or even a significant injury! They even SANK a freight train, that was operating on land at the time!

 
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ecofarm

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Is this gonna be on the quiz?
 

ModerationNow!

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Is this gonna be on the quiz?

It should be. When I see things like this, it disappoints me that we have basically overlooked the accomplishments of the US submarine forces, now and then. You hear FAR more about the German U-boats, which did have early successes in ww2, but still pale in comparison to the American subs. Our submarine force made up just 2% of the Navy servicemen serving in the Pacific, but that 2% sank 55% of all Japanese shipping, effectively cloaking supplies to every Japanese held island.

Also, unlike the Japanese, who also had an effective submarine force(and much better torpedoes), we built our subs with crew comfort and morale in mind. Our primary ww2 era fleet submarines of the Gato and Balao classes were air conditioned, had well stocked kitchens, with the finest food available, as well as showers and other amenities NOT found in most foreign subs. That makes a huge difference in crew happiness & performance, and it's still a reality in modern American subs. But it was those WW2 subs that had more to do with winning the war in the Pacific than anything else.
 

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But it was those WW2 subs that had more to do with winning the war in the Pacific than anything else.

Yes, absolutely.

We all owe a great debt to those brave men.

Truth be told, the crews of all nations' subs were very brave, indeed. (I hear that in World War One, sub crews did not even expect to survive.)

I hope that American military and civilian leaders do NOT do anything to lessen the morale of our submarine crews. (I am not allowed to be specific.)
 

Bum

I survived. Suck it, Schrodinger.
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I remember reading about this.....the sub commander removed the scuttling charge from the sub to destroy the train.

I dont care who you are, that takes big brass clankers to pull off.

:peace
 

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I remember reading about this.....the sub commander removed the scuttling charge from the sub to destroy the train.

I dont care who you are, that takes big brass clankers to pull off.

:peace

If that detail is true, then that makes it an even more badass(and creative) accomplishment.
 

Bum

I survived. Suck it, Schrodinger.
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If that detail is true, then that makes it an even more badass(and creative) accomplishment.

I had to go back and check to make sure it wasn't another sub and skipper, but yeah....it was the same....

https://www.eugeneleeslover.com/USNAVY/USS_Barb.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_B._Fluckey

He retired as a Rear Admiral and passed away in 2007 at the age of 93.

His award tally included four Navy Crosses and the Medal of Honor.


His story is worth a read if only for the pure badass factor.
 
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