The Barbour Boat Works of New Bern became one of several shipyards in the United States contracted by the U.S. Navy to build fourteen naval vessels of which twelve ships would be delivered to the British Royal Navy for action in the European theater during World War II. A couple of these vessels would be kept by the U.S. Navy and would see action in the Pacific theater in our fight against the Japanese. The stories of these New Bern-built ships during World War II and their life afterwards in the ownership of other countries, demonstrate the lasting impact and value of Barbour Boat Works and the people who built them.
Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 and served on submarines as well as several assignments with Naval Intelligence, 7th Fleet, and Joint Staff. He earned three Masters degrees in Management, Nuclear Engineering, and National Security & Strategic Studies. He also served as an adjunct professor for the Naval War College and taught Joint Maritime Operations. After retirement from the military, he became a member of the Senior Executive Service in the Department of the Navy and led the transformation of the Naval History & Heritage Command as its 12th Director from 2008-2012. He is currently the State Secretary and New Bern Chapter President of the NC Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Admiral DeLoach is also a direct descendant of the founder of New Bern, the Baron Christoph von Graffenried, his seventh great-grandfather.