for Submariners

by Hamilton 1:1 Communications, LLC

Submarine Cargo Carrier (SSA)

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USS Barbero (SSA-317) Balao Class

USS Barbero (SSA-317) Sub Cargo Carrier

USS Barbero: keel Laid down, 25 March 1943, at Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT.; Launched, 12 December 1943; Commissioned USS Barbero (SS-317), 29 April 1944.

Barbero's war operations span the period from 9 August 1944 until 2 January 1945, during which time she completed two war patrols. She is officially credited with sinking three Japanese merchant ships totaling 9126 tons while patrolling in the Java and South China Seas.

On 27 December 1944, enroute to Fremantle, Australia, Barbero, while at periscope depth, received an aerial bomb close aboard aft. This near miss damaged the port reduction gear and put Barbero out of action for the remainder of the war.

In September 1945 she was ordered to Mare Island Navy Yard where she underwent pre-inactivation overhaul and was placed in commission in reserve 25 April 1946. Status changed to in commission in reserve, 25 April 1946;

The USS Barbero underwent conversion to a cargo submarine, redesignated SSA-317 on March 31, 1948. Assigned to the Pacific Fleet, she spent the next two years evaluating her capabilities as a cargo carrier in an experimental program.

Barbero received two battle stars for her World War II service.

Boats Converted:

USS Barbero (SS-317) Balao



The USMC wanted these to support their raiders with supplies. A task force of 40 SSPs and SSAs could land a reinforced Marine Regiment.




312' length
27' 4” Beam
1,525 tons Surfaced Displacement
2,410 tons Submerged Displacement
2,740 SHP Electric Motors, 2 Shafts
14 kt surfaced speed
9 kt submerged speed
400 ft Test Depth
61 Crew


6 x 21” TT Bow

Cargo Capacity:

28,300 gallons of gasoline (Tanks)

6,000 cubic feet of cargo stowage
or 120 tons of cargo

Modifications Made:

1-The forward pair of engines were removed and a snorkel fitted.

2-The Aft torpedo tubes and all torpedo reloads deleted.

3-A Large Diameter 36” hatch was added to access the main cargo space.

4-Two fuel tanks converted to carry gasoline.