These pages are about my grandfather, Abner T Barrie, and his service aboard a US Navy submarine in the Far East in the 1920s.
Most of what you will find here are captioned photographs, because I really don't know much about my grandfather, his life or his Navy service. He died before I was born, and it is the nature of my father's family that little has been preserved in the way of family papers or even memories. That these photos were compiled and scanned at all is down to a casual conversation I had with my father a month or so ago.
Lately I have been spending more time than is healthy in tattoo parlors, which has sparked an interest in the work of Sailor Jerry Collins, a tattoo artist who worked in Honolulu between 1940 and 1973, and who perfected a classic tattoo style revolving around US Navy and seafaring themes. I knew from my father that his father had a number of tattoos on his arms, and I wondered whether they might have resembled Sailor Jerry's work. During our conversation, my father mentioned a large collection of postcards and snapshots from the 1920s he used to play with as a boy, and how if we had those photos we could probably find some images of my grandfather's tattoos. I suggested some of the photos might still be around, since I remember seeing them when I was a boy. The conversation moved onto other things, but a few days later I received a call from my father, during which he mentioned he did indeed find the cache of his father's old photos. Not nearly as many as he remembered from his childhood, but a good number.
When I arrived at my parents' house to see the photos, I was very surprised. Here were dozens of snapshots taken by my grandfather during his service aboard a submarine in the Far East, most of which I had never seen before. I had already been corresponding with an ex-submariner who expressed an interest in my grandfather's career, so I took some of the photos with me when I left the house, and bought a Canon D660U scanner on my way home. On these pages you will find the results of my work with the scanner.
I have divided the photos into the following categories:
- Kid Red and shipmates; photos of my grandfather and a few of his shipmates, some of whom are identified by name.
- Life aboard the S-30; photos of the crew of the USS S-30 submarine working and playing on the boat.
- Asiatic Fleet life; photos of submariners relaxing in the Philippines and China.
- Commercial prints; Navy-themed commercial prints and postcards.
Anyone is free to use any of these photos for any reason, though I would appreciate a referral back to this Website as a photo credit. These photos are all relatively small, for Internet use, but if you would like a larger scanned image just e-mail me to let me know.
I would also very much appreciate any corrections or explanations you can provide. The captions of the photos are based primarily on my own book research and best guesses, since I know so little about my grandfather's career and activities. Please feel free to e-mail your suggestions.
I hope you enjoy reading these pages as much as I enjoyed putting them together.