May 9

Boo to the U.S. Navy for getting rid of USS <em>Barry</em> (DD-933) at the Washington Navy Yard

Monday, May 9, 2016 11:32 AM


Chris Cavas, Naval Warfare Correspondent at Defense News, was right on target when he used the word “boo” in a tweet about the display ship Barry’s departure from the Washington Navy Yard on Saturday, 7 May 2016, with no plans for a replacement.

Mr. Cavas is being polite, in my humble opinion. “Disgraceful” comes to my mind. A U.S. Navy Museum in the nation’s capital without a Navy ship is ridiculous and borders in the criminal. Can you imagine an Air Force Museum without airplanes or a U.S. Army museum without guns and tanks? Me neither.

USS Barry underway some time in the 1950s. Naval Institute Photo Archive.

USS Barry (DD-933) under way some time in the 1950s. Naval Institute Photo Archive.

If anyone ever needed any further proof that the U.S. Navy doesn’t care about its fine history and heritage, it is there in the absence of a Navy museum ship in the nation’s capital.

Yet the Navy wonders why it always does poorly in the annual Gallup surveys about public perceptions of the U.S. military. For example, in 2014, the Navy finished in fourth place, with 17 percent, when Americans were asked by Gallup, “Which of the five branches of the armed forces in this country would you say is the most important to our national defense today?”

USNI News has thoroughly covered the reasons why the USS Barry is being scrapped here and here, so the time is now to expose the canards cited by the Navy to justify its decision.

Barry as a display ship at the Washington Navy Yard in the 1980s.Naval Institute Photo Archive.

Barry as a display ship at the Washington Navy Yard in the 1980s. Naval Institute Photo Archive.

First, the Barry was not the most historic ship in the U.S. Navy, blah, blah, blah. So what if it wasn’t the USS Enterprise (CV-6)? Any ship is better than no ship. Second, fiscal costs mandated the scrapping of the Barry. The price of keeping her around (a $2 million repair bill and $280,000 annual operating costs) for decades to come for tourists is decimal dust in the Department of Defense’s budget. The Navy wastes more money on politically correct staff officers in the Pentagon, worthless consultants, and endless meetings to discuss a future meeting.

Job well done, Barry. You were a great sight to see on “NCIS” and while driving into D.C. Maybe the Navy can come to its senses and bring the USS Olympia to the Washington Navy Yard to remedy this injustice.