Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
The first Barton (DD-599) was launched 31 January 1942 by
Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Miss Barbara
Dean Barton, granddaughter of Admiral Barton; and commissioned 29
May 1842, Lieutenant Commander D. H. Fox in command.
Barton departed the east coast 23 August 1942 and steamed to
the Pacific, arriving at Tongatabu, Tonga Islands, 14 September
1942. During October she participated in the Buin-Faisi-Tonolai
raid (5 October) and the Battle of Santa Cruz (26 October). On 29
October she successfully rescued 17 survivors of two downed air
transports near Fabre Island.
Against great odds on 13 November Barton, in company with Rear
Admiral D. J. Callaghan's landing sup port group, took part in
the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Barton commenced firing on the
Japanese ships at approximately 0148. After launching four
torpedoes she had to come to an emergency stop to avoid a
collision. While she was practically dead in the water, two enemy
torpedoes found their mark. The first torpedo struck her forward
fireroom and, a few seconds later, a second torpedo struck her
forward engine-room. Within seconds, Barton broke in two and
sank, carrying with her an estimated 80 percent of her valiant
crew. Forty-two survivors were rescued by Portland (CA-33) and
Higgins boats from Guadalcanal.
Barton received four battle stars for her service during October
and November 1942.
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