USS Perry DD844
Contributed by Martin Denney MM3
Served aboard the USS Perry Nov. 57 - Sep. 1960
MARK I conversion in 1959-60
PERRY was the first FRAM MARK I Destroyer
After her shakedown cruise we steamed up the Potomac River to
Washington, D.C. for review. I was to be discharged in Washington,
so I last saw her as got underway heading down the Potomac on
a bright sunny morning in September 1960. I remember raising
my arm and giving her a right-hand salute. I took a lot of pride
in the Perry. She was MY SHIP.
Following shakedown off Cuba and plane guard exercises off Pensacola,
Perry departed the east coast,12 June 1946, for her first overseas
deployment, a 9 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 Dardanelles-Sea
of Marmara-Bosporus. Returning to her homeport, Newport, 8 March
1947, she conducted local operations and exercise from Puerto
Rico to Canada and, in addition, served as Engineering School
Ship for Destroyer Forces, Atlantic Fleet, and, in October, assisted
fighting the fire which ravaged the Maine resort of Mt. Desert
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.
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.
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.
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, Fla. whence she began operations with
Task Group Alpha. Over the next 2 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 1966, patrol duties
with 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, P.I., 29 February, she joined the 7th Fleet for operations
off Viet Nam.
On 3 September she returned to Mayport and resumed her duties
with the Atlantic Fleet, continuing them into 1970.