A work in progress – the fuller biographies will emerge in due course: please sign up to the Newsletter (bottom of the page) and we’ll let you know when we’ve done more justice in writing up our extraordinary signatories.
Lt Cdr Barklie LAKIN DSO DSC* US Legion of Merit RN, whose submarine experience included HMS/Ms NARWHAL, URSULA, H32 & H43 (twice falsely alerted to the departure of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau to sit off BREST), UTMOST (about three war patrols, including his first DEPTH CHARGING at XMAS,1941 as they lay below, counting 40 to 50 explosions close and not so close but each one felt distinctly & personally – they had already sunk five ships totalling 20,000 tons, on that patrol) then he was appointed to the Captaincy Periscope “Perishers” Course) and returned to URSULA as Captain (re-fitting and to LERWICK and stationed North of Bear Island on the flank of CONVOYS to guard agains the Tirpitz and Scheer coming out, which they did 5 Jul but only briefly, then returning to defensive anchorages).
He recalls the tragic Admiralty signals and plight of CONVOY PQ17 (23 of 34 ships that far north sunk, with 10 out of the 40 SHIPS on the next PQ18 being lost after this). Even with Escort Carrier HMS AVENGER and her embarked HURRICANES, but this was to be a turning point for less disastrous NORTH RUSSIAN CONVOYS).
SAFAR came next (taking over as Captain after the 10 previous patrols of Cdr, later R Adm Ben BRYANT CB DSO** DSC RN) the job then too included some interesting SPECIAL FORCES del veries and RAIDP, some into ITALY and others in an area between Marseilles and Genoa – somewhere SW of SAVONA they watched the railway all day and then closed in to 400 yards at night to fire at and hit a locomotive, which then set fire to a long area from the 5,000 volt system – the excellent group photograph, with Lts LAKIN and DEVLIN among the SAFARI CREW arriving home at TROON, after 4 more operational patrols in the dangerous waters of the MEDITERRANEAN by Planet News, on board and behind their large Jolly Roger tally flag, on 22 Sep 1943, was one of the war’s famous photos.
BEACH MARKING was undertaken, as spot on “Beacons”, for both the TORCH NORTH AFRICAN and HUSKY SICILY INVASION LANDINGS (briefing at Bizerta), the Submarine being used to MARK the approach to AMERICAN BEACHES at LICATA (US LEGION of MERIT) – the morning after the invasion they were damaged by a destroyer); once, close to GIBRALTAR, his officer of the watch saw at distance what he thought was a carrier, which in fact was a German U-Boat, for which the drill was to fire everything they had, which was then six torpedoes – after the timed seconds there was a reassuring explosion and its stern sank and the bows went high out of the water (award of DSO).
Appointed to the BRITISH INFORMATION SERVICES in WASHINGTON, he lectured publicly on the SUBMARINE WAR EFFORT to a variety of American audiences from SHIPYARD WORKERS to HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES (including an invitation to Shirley Temple’s birthday Film Studio party), and was even written about in a major TIME magazine article on 7Feb44 (partly used here and acknowledged as historical information); returning to ENGLAND in a RAF Liberator in Apr44 for home leave, he was then appointed to the PACIFIC THEATRE, as BRITISH SUBMARINE LIAISON COMSUBPAC on the staff of Admiral Charles LOCKWOOD USN – in 1941, when in UTMOST, he had taken to sea an exchange AMERICAN SUBMARINER, Jimmy FYFFE, and now was reversing this process, being based at GUAM to the end of the war. Within the AMERICAN PACIFIC FLEET (this exchange directly followed Cdr Anthony MIERS VC DSO* RN in this same job, whose father was killed Sep 14 FRANCE with CAMERON HIGHLANDERS, of HM Submarine TORBAY fame) on the STAFF reporting up to Fleet Admiral Chester NIMITZ, C~in-C US PACIFIC FLEET.
Barklie went out on two PATROLS with the USS/M CROAKER (Capt Jack LEE USN) from PEARL HARBOR, refuelling at MIDWAY, later successfully sinking a JAPANESE CRUISER (N.B. US SUBMARINE “CROAKER” is now a MUSEUM display SUBMARINE at GROTON Connecticut – it originally had been a war build, up in the Great Lakes), then on the “TINOSA” and finally in USSS-291 “CREVALLE” in Jul 1945, partly developing a Mine Detector Unit, all ready for inshore sweeping to penetrate into JAPAN’s Straits of TSUSHIMA.
Barklie was born in October 1914 and went to DARTMOUTH in May 1928, his Father having served in WW1 with the ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY in both FRANCE and MESOPOTAMIA. During WW2 he sank a total of 15 ships totalling more than 25,000 tons – once he took three prisoners from a French ship, two Germans and a dog (quickly christened “Petain”‘.) – this was SS Sainte Marguerite, as Barklie joked in “Time” …”built in Dublin, sold to the French, seized by the Germans and sunk by me” – one of his worst experiences must have been for his crew – – – – facing 38 hours of continuous attack by two destroyers above; elsewhere we have quoted some statistics on the SUBMARINE SERVICE of the US NAVY in the. PACIFIC, which came from the ASSOCIATION of SUB VETERANS, about their remarkable achievements too, accounting for well over HALF of ALL JAP MERCHANT SHIPPING, but also almost 700,000 tons of JAPANESE NAVY SHIPS, FOUR AIRCRAFT CARRIERS, a BATTLESHIP, 4 JEEP CARRIERS, 2 CRUISERS, 47 DESTROYERS, 40 FRIGATES, 23 SUBMARINES, 20 SUB-CHASERS, 3 SUB TENDERS, 5 SEAPLANE TENDERS, plus MINESWEEPERS, NET TENDERS, Large LANDING CRAFT, MTBs and MLs ete – the price of this success though was to be 3,505 AMERICAN SUBMARINERS LOST in ACTION.
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