The USS Barb (SS-200) battle flag. With twelve war patrols, her captain, Commander Eugene B. Fluckey, said the best reward he was given wasn’t on the flag. Not a single one of her crew were wounded in battle.
The USS Barb sank a train. On her last patrol, she used 5in rocket launchers - installed on the request of her captain - to barrage three towns on three different islands. During the night of July 22-23, 1945, Barb landed eight men at Karafuto, in the Japanese main islands. At 0145, while planting the explosive switch that would be set off by a train, the lookout spotted one thundering down the tracks. Paddling like the devil, the saboteur team barely got away when at 0147, the 55 pound scuttling charge used as a bomb blew up; causing the locomotive’s boilers to blow. After that, the cars behind the train were lit aflame, ending in a brilliant fireworks display.
Five minutes later, the saboteurs were back on board and “Lucky Fluckey” said over the intercom ”All hands below deck not absolutely needed to maneuver the ship have permission to come topside.”
On August 12th, 1945, USS Barb returned to port and ended her final war patrol. Three days later, the surrender agreements were signed. The eight crew-members who served as the saboteur team have the distinction of being the only ground combat operation held in the Japanese Home Islands during WWII.