USS Perry (DD-844)

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USS Perry (DD-844) underway in the late 1960s.jpg
Perry (DD-844) in 1969
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Name: USS Perry
Namesake: Oliver Hazard Perry
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Laid down: 14 May 1945
Launched: 25 October 1945
Commissioned: 17 January 1946
Decommissioned: 1 July 1973
Struck: 1 July 1973
Fate: Sold for scrap, 24 June 1974
General characteristics
Class and type: Gearing-class destroyer
Displacement: 3,460 long tons (3,516 t) full
Length: 390 ft 6 in (119.02 m)
Beam: 40 ft 10 in (12.45 m)
Draft: 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)
Propulsion: Geared turbines, 2 shafts, 60,000 shp (45 MW)
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)
Range: 4,500 nmi (8,300 km) at 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 336

USS Perry (DD-844) was a Gearing-class destroyer of the United States Navy, the fourth Navy ship of that name and the fifth named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (1785–1819), victor of the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812 and one of the early heroes of the U.S. Navy.

<i>Gearing</i>-class destroyer Class of American destroyers

The Gearing class was a series of 98 destroyers built for the U.S. Navy during and shortly after World War II. The Gearing design was a minor modification of the Allen M. Sumner class, whereby the hull was lengthened by 14 ft (4.3 m) at amidships, which resulted in more fuel storage space and increased the operating range.

Destroyer Type of warship

In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were originally developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, and by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" (TBDs) were "large, swift, and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been generally shortened to simply "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.


Perry was laid down on 14 May 1945 by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; launched on 25 October 1945; sponsored by Mrs. George Tilton; and commissioned on 17 January 1946, Commander Clyde J. Van Arsdall, Jr., in command.

Bath Iron Works American shipyard located on the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine

Bath Iron Works (BIW) is a major United States shipyard located on the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine, founded in 1884 as Bath Iron Works, Limited. BIW has built private, commercial, and military vessels, most of which have been ordered by the United States Navy. The shipyard has built and sometimes designed battleships, frigates, cruisers, and destroyers, including the Arleigh Burke class which are currently among the world's most advanced surface warships.

Bath, Maine City in Maine, United States

Bath is a city in Sagadahoc County, Maine, in the United States. The population was 8,514 at the 2010 census, and 8,357 as of 2013; the population has had a change of -10.2% since 2000. It is the county seat of Sagadahoc County, which includes one city and 10 towns. The city is popular with tourists, many drawn by its 19th-century architecture. It is home to the Bath Iron Works and Heritage Days Festival, held annually on the Fourth of July weekend. It is commonly known as "The City of Ships". Bath is part of the metropolitan statistical area of Greater Portland.

Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service, and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to the placing of a warship in active duty with its country's military forces. The ceremonies involved are often rooted in centuries old naval tradition.

Service history


Following shakedown off Cuba and plane guard exercises off Pensacola, Florida, Perry departed the east coast, on 12 June 1946, for her first overseas deployment, a nine-month cruise which took her first to northern Europe, thence to the Mediterranean. There she joined other American units in patrolling off tension-ridden areas bordering on that sea, particularly on the Adriatic, the Aegean, and the DardanellesSea of MarmaraBosporus. Returning to her homeport, Newport, Rhode Island, on 8 March 1947, she conducted local operations and exercises from Puerto Rico to Canada and, in addition, served as Engineering School Ship for Destroyer Forces, Atlantic Fleet, and, in October, assisted in fighting the fire which ravaged the Maine resort of Mount Desert Island.

Cuba Country in the Caribbean

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometers (42,800 sq mi). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometers (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.

Plane guard

A plane guard is a warship or helicopter tasked to recover the aircrew of planes or helicopters which ditch or crash in the water during aircraft carrier flight operations.

Naval Air Station Pensacola airport

Naval Air Station Pensacola or NAS Pensacola, "The Cradle of Naval Aviation", is a United States Navy base located next to Warrington, Florida, a community southwest of the Pensacola city limits. It is best known as the initial primary training base for all U.S.Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officers pursuing designation as Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers, the advanced training base for most Naval Flight Officers, and as the home base for the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the precision-flying team known as the Blue Angels.

Perry remained in the western Atlantic until January 1951, when she got underway again for the Mediterranean. 6th Fleet operations were followed by exercises with the British Home Fleet and in May she returned to New England and plane guard duties, local operations and training exercises.

United States Sixth Fleet Numbered fleet of the United States Navy

The Sixth Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy operating as part of United States Naval Forces Europe. The Sixth Fleet is headquartered at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy. The officially stated mission of the Sixth Fleet in 2011 is that it "conducts the full range of Maritime Operations and Theater Security Cooperation missions, in concert with coalition, joint, interagency, and other parties, in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa." The current commander of the Sixth Fleet is Vice Admiral Lisa M. Franchetti.

New England Region of the United States

New England is a region composed of six states of the northeastern United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and north, respectively. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the south. Boston is New England's largest city as well as the capital of Massachusetts. The largest metropolitan area is Greater Boston with nearly a third of the entire region's population, which also includes Worcester, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island.

In 1952, following her 3rd Mediterranean tour, she again served as Engineering School Ship and participated in type, fleet, and NATO exercises until resuming overseas employment in 1954. In the Mediterranean from January to June, she served as Gunnery School Ship on her return.

NATO Intergovernmental military alliance of Western states

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.

During the next four years Perry regularly deployed to the Mediterranean, patrolling, in early 1956, off the Suez Canal as the United States attempted to promote a peaceful settlement to the mounting crisis between Israel and the Arab League nations.

Suez Canal canal in Egypt between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea

The Suez Canal is a sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. Constructed by the Suez Canal Company between 1859 and 1869, it was officially opened on 17 November 1869. The canal offers watercraft a more direct route between the North Atlantic and northern Indian Oceans via the Mediterranean and Red Seas, thus avoiding the South Atlantic and southern Indian Oceans and thereby reducing the journey distance from the Arabian Sea to, for example, London by approximately 8,900 kilometres (5,500 mi). It extends from the northern terminus of Port Said to the southern terminus of Port Tewfik at the city of Suez. Its length is 193.30 km (120.11 mi), including its northern and southern access channels. In 2012, 17,225 vessels traversed the canal.

Israel country in the Middle East

Israel, also known as the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

Arab League organisation of Arab states

The Arab League, formally the League of Arab States, is a regional organization of Arab states in and around North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Arabia. It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a member on 5 May 1945. Currently, the League has 22 members, but Syria's participation has been suspended since November 2011, as a consequence of government repression during the Syrian Civil War.


Between 29 April 1959 and 10 May 1960 Perry underwent Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) Conversion, the first such conversion, at the Boston Naval Shipyard. In addition to improved living spaces, she received the latest in sonar and anti-submarine weaponry, including ASROC and DASH. Exercises in the Caribbean followed and, in August, she shifted her homeport to Mayport, Florida, whence she began operations with Task Group Alpha. Over the next two years she operated with that group, participated in Polaris missile tests in the Atlantic Missile Range, and conducted local operations and training cruises. On 2 August 1962, she departed Florida to resume overseas deployments and for the next seven years rotated between 6th Fleet and Middle East Force tours and operations in the western Atlantic, the latter including further Polaris tests, school ship duties for the Sonar School at Key West, and, in May 1965, patrol duties with Task Force 124 (TF 124) off the Dominican Republic.

In 1969, Perry interrupted her previous schedule and on 11 January got underway for duty in the western Pacific. Arriving at Subic Bay, Philippines, on 29 February, she joined the 7th Fleet for operations off Vietnam. On her return to her homeport of Mayport, Florida, she ran into Hurricane Camille on 16 August. She was ordered to remain on course and report weather conditions, among which were wind speeds of 190 knots. Her department heads eventually convinced the commanding officer to change course, but since it was his first command, he was initially reluctant to do so. He finally requested a course change, but by then Perry had suffered significant structural damage, and on 3 September returned to her homeport for three months of repairs. Perry then resumed her duties with the Atlantic Fleet, continuing them into 1970.

Perry was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 July 1973. She was sold on 24 June 1974 and broken up for scrap.

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