USS Fred T. Berry (DD-858)

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Career
Name: USS Fred T. Berry
Namesake: Fred T. Berry
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, San Pedro, California
Laid down: 16 July 1944
Launched: 28 January 1945
Commissioned: 12 May 1945
Decommissioned: September 1970
Reclassified: DDE-858, 4 March 1950
Struck: 15 September 1970
Honors and
awards:
2 battle stars (Korea)
Fate: Scuttled as an artificial reef, 14 May 1972
General characteristics
Class & 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
Armament: • 6 × 5"/38 caliber guns
• 12 × 40 mm AA guns
• 11 × 20 mm AA guns
• 10 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
• 6 × depth charge projectors
• 2 × depth charge tracks

USS Fred T. Berry (DD/DDE-858) was a Gearing-class destroyer of the United States Navy, named for Commander Fred T. Berry (1887–1933).

Fred T. Berry was launched on 28 January 1945 by Bethlehem Steel Co., San Pedro, California; sponsored by Mrs. Fred T. Berry, widow of Commander Berry; and commissioned on 12 May 1945, Commander N. J. Frank, Jr., in command.

Service history[edit]

Sailing from San Francisco, California on 29 August 1945, Fred T. Berry trained with aircraft carriers in Hawaiian waters and completed a tour of occupation duty in the Far East before returning to her home port, San Diego, on 21 February 1947. A second Far Eastern cruise, between 2 December and 7 August 1948, preceded a modernization overhaul in 1949, during which her anti-submarine warfare capabilities were augmented.

Fred T. Berry left San Diego on 25 August 1949 for her new home port, Newport, Rhode Island, arriving on 11 September. The Atlantic Fleet exercise schedule took her from Greenland to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the ten months that followed. Fred T. Berry was reclassified an Escort Destroyer, DDE-858, on 4 March 1950. Alerted for temporary duty in the Mediterranean at the opening of the Korean War, Fred T. Berry sailed from Newport on 5 July 1950, and at the end of the summer, sailed on through the Suez Canal to join the 7th Fleet in the Far East. She screened fast carriers launching strikes on targets in North Korea, and escorted battleship Missouri (BB-63) to her bombardment duty at Hŭngnam during the withdrawal from that port. Detached from Task Force 77 (TF 77) on 5 February 1951, Fred T. Berry sailed eastward to complete her circumnavigation of the world with her return to Newport on 14 March 1951.

During each of the next three years, and again in 1957 and 1960, Fred T. Berry served tours of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, joining in exercises, patrolling this key area, and paying good will visits to many ports. NATO "Operation Mainbrace" took her to British ports in 1952, and during the 1956 midshipman training cruise, she called at Barcelona, Spain, and Greenock, Scotland.

With her primary employment anti-submarine warfare development from 1954 through 1963, Fred T. Berry sailed the western Atlantic from Canadian ports to Argentina, operating with experimental hunter-killer groups.

"Fred T. Berry" sailed from Newport, RI, in January 1966 with DESRON 12 for the Pacific via the Panama Canal. She earned two campaign stars and the Combat Action Ribbon for Vietnam service. Returning to Newport via the Suez Canal the "Fred T. Berry completed her round the world cruise in August 1966.

On 15 September 1970, Fred T. Berry was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. On 14 May 1972 she was scuttled at 24°27.8′N 81°33.3′W / 24.4633°N 81.5550°W / 24.4633; -81.5550, in 55 fathoms (100 m) to form an artificial reef off Key West, Florida.

In 1973 the research submersible Johnson Sea Link became entangled in her wreckage, resulting in the deaths of two of its four occupants.[1][2]

Awards[edit]

Fred T. Berry received two battle stars for Korean War service.

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entries can be found here and here.

External links[edit]