Launched on 28 January
at San Pedro, California, and commissioned on 12 May 1945, the FRED T.
BERRY (DD-858) arrived in Pearl Harbor in September 1945. She engaged in
exercises with the Pacific Fleet and served as an escort for the HORNET
(CV-12) during flight operations in Hawaiian waters. She then
accompanied the GURKE (DD-783) to Japan and duty on the Asiatic Station,
covering China, Okinawa, Korea, Japan, and Formosa through May 1947. She
returned to the Asiatic Station in 1948. In the following year, she was
converted to an antisubmarine warfare ship with the installation of
extra underwater sound equipment and transferred to Newport, Rhode
Island, to join the Atlantic Fleet.
In March 1950, she was
reclassified as an escort destroyer and made her first trip the
Mediterranean at the outbreak of war in Korea. From there, she was
ordered to the Far East and the Seventh Fleet. Assigned to patrol the
Formosa Straits in September and October, she moved on to join the fast
carrier Task Force 77 off the Korean coast in November. Diverted from
that task in December, she accompanied the battleship MISSOURI (BB-63 )
to Hungnam during the massive evacuation of American and other UN
troops. She operated with Task Force 77 supporting UN ground forces and
rescuing downed pilots in the Japan Sea. She also engaged in the search
and disposal of enemy mines. Detached from Task Force 77 in February
1951, she returned to Newport via the Panama Canal.
fleet and NATO exercises, Mediterranean, Caribbean, and South American
cruises, hunter-killer operations along the East Coast with Task Group
Bravo of DesRon 24, sonar fleet exercises, a midshipman cruise to Spain,
Scotland, and Guantanamo Bay kept her busy through the rest of the
1950s. A seven-month FRAM II overhaul began in March 1961 at the Boston
Naval Shipyard and in May 1962, the BERRY participated in Project
Mercury. She sailed for the Mediterranean in September 1962 where she
went on alert during October and November as a result of the Cuban
Missile Crisis. Her Sixth-Fleet deployment continued into 1963 when she
joined the Middle East Force for six weeks in the Persian Gulf area. The
BERRY kept up a full schedule of operations along the East Coast,
exercises in the Caribbean, a four-month Mediterranean cruise, and
another deployment with the Middle East Force until 1966 when she found
herself en route to the Pacific and combat duty in Vietnam.
With DesRon 10 and
units of DesRon 12, the BERRY arrived in the war zone on 10 March 1966
and began gunfire support operations in the Mekong and Saigon River
Delta areas. During her first two weeks on the gun line, she fired 1,533
5-inch rounds in sixty-one day and night missions. Airborne spotters
reported that her gunners had destroyed at least twenty-eight enemy
structures and damaged seventy-three others with outstanding accuracy.
Leaving the gun line, the BERRY began plane guard duty with the HANCOCK
(CV-19) on Dixie Station in the South China Sea.
After a quick trip to
Subic Bay to have all four of her gun barrels replaced, she returned to
Vietnam on 21 May. With the ENTERPRISE (CVAN-65), the BAINBRIDGE
(DLG-25), and the MASSEY (DD-778), she proceeded to Yankee Station in
the Tonkin Gulf to stand plane guard duty for the Big “E.” Completing a
trip to Yokosuka, Japan and a brief return to Dixie Station, she headed
for home early in July. The BERRY finished the year with surveillance
operations along the East Coast and out of Key West where she also
served as a fleet sonar school ship.
In February 1967, the
BERRY joined the GAINARD (DD-706) and C. S. SPERRY (DD-697) for a
Caribbean officer training cruise and then left for the Mediterranean.
In June 1967, she patrolled the Eastern Mediterranean during the
Arab-Israeli conflict and carried Rear Admiral I. C. Kidd, Jr., to
investigate the damage done to the LIBERTY (AGTR-5) by Israeli forces.
August found the BERRY and the DAVIS (DD-937) tracking a Soviet
FOXTROT-class submarine, PENDANT (F-966). The two American destroyers
were joined by the MASSEY, BRUMBY (DE-1044), LESTER (DE-1022), and
BASILONE (DD-824) as they hounded the sub and forced it to surface after
a record 105 hours. Following NATO exercises, she returned to Newport in
Early in 1968, while operating with the U.S. Polaris
submarines ETHAN ALLEN (SSBN-608) and SAM HOUSTON (SSBN-609) during
their shakedown off Cape Canaveral, Florida, she aided HMS RESOLUTION
(SSBN-1) in completing the first ballistic missile firing from a British
Polaris submarine. The BERRY began 1969 with a Mediterranean deployment
and in July changed her home port to Norfolk, Virginia, to join DesRon
2. On 11 August, during exercises off Roosevelt Roads, she rescued the
crew of a downed Marine helicopter. She finished the year in port and
was decommissioned and stricken from the navy’s list on 15 September
1970. The FRED T. BERRY was scuttled after underwater explosives tests
off Key West on 14 May 1972.