USS Newman K. Perry (DD-883)

USS Newman K. Perry (DD-883)

USS "Newman K. Perry" (DD–883/DDR–883), a sclass|Gearing|destroyer was the only ship of the United States Navy named for Ensign Newman K. Perry, USN (1880–1905), who was killed in a boiler explosion board USS|Bennington|PG-4|2 on 21 July 1905.

"Perry" was laid down by the Consolidated Steel Corporation at Orange, Texas 10 October 1944, launched on 17 March 1945 by Mrs. Laura P. Gunter, sister of Ensign Perry and commissioned on 26 July 1945, Commander Norman E. Smith in command.

Following shakedown, "Newman K. Perry" served briefly with the Atlantic Fleet. On 7 November 1945, she got underway for Pearl Harbor, whence she sailed to Japan for three month's occupation duty. She returned to Pearl Harbor 28 March 1946 and was assigned to Joint Task Force 1 for Operation Crossroads, the 1946 atomic bomb test series at Bikini. Sailing for the Marshall Islands 27 May, she witnessed tests "Able" and "Baker" and, in August, steamed for the United States.

On 18 August she arrived at San Diego whence she operated until 25 August 1947. Then, with DesDiv 132, she headed west, arriving at Yokosuka 13 September. Three days later she sailed to Tsingtao to commence a series of patrol, escort, search and rescue, ASW, and hydrographic survey missions and exercises along the China coast and off Taiwan and Okinawa. Relieved 5 May 1948, she returned to San Diego, trained naval reservists through the summer and in October entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard for overhaul.

The destroyer departed San Francisco 15 January 1949 and until April conducted exercises off the west coast. On 4 April, she departed San Diego with DesDiv 182 for Newport, Rhode Island, her new homeport, arriving 21 April.

After her return to Destroyer Forces, Atlantic Fleet, she rotated tours with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea and midshipmen and reservist training cruises, and fleet, squadron and type training exercises with the 2nd Fleet. Redesignated a radar picket destroyer in 1950, she conducted her scheduled operations as DDR–883 until 1964 when she resumed the designation DD–883. A change in operations in 1959 took her to Charleston, South Carolina, which served as her homeport for several years before she resumed operations out of Newport.

A second change in operations took her to the Western Pacific for her overseas deployment in 1966. Departing Newport with DesDiv 201, 4 October, she transited the Panama Canal, stopped in Hawaii, Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines, and arrived on station in the Mekong Delta of South Viet Nam 23 November. Assigned to fire support duties, she shelled enemy coastal storage areas until the 28th. She then shifted to Phu Quoc island, off the Cambodian-South Viet Namese border, to support Viet Namese and Special Forces units for five days, returning to the Delta area in December. Other assignments on that tour with the 7th Fleet took her along the coast to the DMZ and then to the Gulf of Tonkin for planeguard and search and rescue missions. On 8 March 1967, she departed the combat zone for Hong Kong before returning to Subic Bay for the last time. On the 27th she departed the Philippines for the Mediterranean and Newport, arriving 8 May.

After overhaul at Boston, "Newman K. Perry" began 1968, with Caribbean exercises and on 4 April departed Newport for the Mediterranean to resume her annual deployments with the 6th Fleet.

"Newman K. Perry" was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 27 February 1981, transferred to South Korea and renamed "Kyong Kai".

ROKS Kyong Kai

The ROKS "Kyong Kai", formerly the USS "Newman K. Perry", was transferred to the Republic of Korea Navy in 1981. It was decommissioned by South Korea in 1997, then later damaged by fire and scrapped in 1999.

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