No one would care until a few months later when its cargo started to show up in Soviet factories, design bureaus and laboratories. The Western nations would not become aware of what happened until months into World War Three. But let’s start from the beginning.
Joel Barr was born in New York City to immigrant parents of Ukrainian-Jewish origin. He attended college in New York and was recruited by Julius Rosenberg to spy for the Soviet Union and International Communist movement. He worked along with Rosenberg at the United States Army Signal Corps laboratories at Ft. Monmouth, NJ during the war against the Nazis.
Barr was fired from his job at the Signal Corps for political activity in 1942, but had no trouble immediately getting a job at Western Electric. The Soviets would collect about 500 secret technical documents a month from Barr and his new friend Alfred Sarant between 1943 and 1945, and more from Rosenberg, including one of the more famous deliveries of a working proximity fuse.
You read that correctly he, along with his partner Alfred Sarant, delivered a full working production version of the top secret proximity or VT fuse to the Soviet Union and Sergo Peskova in 1944. In addition Barr worked on the computerized gun sight, the SCR-520 and SCR-720 radar used in the P-61 Black Widow USAAF night fighter, a state of the art weapons system used briefly at the end of World War Two. In additions the two delivered a 12,000 page blue print of the YP-80 jet fighter, M-9 predictor along with several other radar systems over the period of a few years.
Near the end of the last war Barr and Sarat founded Sarant Laboratories in Seattle, WA and quietly started to buy quantities of the products that the booming electronics industry of the newly domesticated US economy was producing at a tremendous rate. The war was over and everyone wanted to make money selling America’s products. It was gold rush times once again with the crystal diodes, resistors, capacitors, vacuum tubes and relays pouring out of the US factories and shipped to whom ever paid the most for them. They would sell to anybody because that is what Americans do. Even to a former Japanese enemy named Sony.
The aforementioned freighter was actually the last of 10 with this one being filled with the latest and best. Millions of pieces of the US electronics industries newest creations were quietly packed up into little boxes that eventually were combined into bigger boxes that were used to fill these eleven unassuming ships bound for different ports that were easily accessible to the Soviet train and transportation system. Little by little all these parts made their way to the factories spread out in the Urals and little by little they were copied and many of the originals used in the Soviets newest generation of jets, tanks. shells, radar, radio and sonar sets.
Barr and Sarant were also on that last ship to leave American shores. Disguised as common seamen they would be greeted in secret as heros of the Soviet Union and be placed in a design bureau of their own. First they use the American made electronics to improve on existing Soviet weapons and then they actually start producing new and improved versions of those same electronics.
By the Spring of 1947 the combination of Sergo, George, Barr, Sarant, Perl, Ilyushin, Mikoyan, Gurevich and Lavochkin would rival any other weapons design structure the world has ever seen. Complete with military hardware on the drawing boards and in development that would be able to go toe to toe with any equally destructive inventions that the West could produce. Time was running out and the technology gap enjoyed by the West was closing at an enormous rate. Combined with the fact that Perl, Barr, Sarant and Sergo knew exactly what weapons the West was working on itself and how to defeat each project, this was to be a world altering 6 months if left to its own devices. After all America’s newest jet the P-80 Shooting Star was designed and produced in 143 days and that is less than 6 months by my calculations.
No one but Beria and Sergo knew how devastating the defections of Perl, Barr and Sarant were. Between them they had not only worked on but were instrumental in most of the West’s most secret initiatives. The secret military hardware of unimaginable capabilities not only were passed on to Beria and Sergo but were also developed by these three traitors or patriots which ever you prefer. Combined with the Cambridge Five, The Rosenbergs, The Ware Group, The Perlo Group, The Redhead Group just to name a few there was nothing the Soviets did not know about America’s and Britain’s greatest secrets when it came to military hardware.