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Perkins

 

Commodore George Hamilton Perkins was born at Hopkinton, N.H., 20 October 1835. Appointed midshipman in 1851, he served the Navy to 1899. He fought with Farragut at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, at the capture of Governor Moore and three ships of the Montgomery Flotilla, and at the surrender of New Orleans in April 1862. He also fought at Port Hudson and Whitehall’s River in July 1862, at the captures of Mary Sorley and Tennessee, the Battle of Mobile Bay, and at Forts Powell, Gaines, and Morgan in August 1864. Following peacetime naval service, he died at Boston, Mass., 28 October 1899.

 

III

 

(DD–877: dp. 3,479 (f.); l. 390’6”; b. 40’10”; dr. 18’6”; S. 35 k.; cpl. 345; a. 6 5”, 12 40mm., 5 21 “ tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct. cl. Gearing)

 

The third Perkins (DD–877) was laid down 19 June 1944 by the Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Orange, Tex.; launched 7 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Larz Anderson; and commissioned 5 April 1945, Comdr. T.M. Fleck in command.

 

Following shakedown off Cuba, Perkins entered the Norfolk Navy Yard for conversion to a radar picket destroyer. In July 1945 she underwent refresher training, rendezvoused with Boxer on the 20th, and headed for the Pacific. At Pearl Harbor she joined DesDiv 52 and on 19 August sailed for the Far East. She entered Tokyo Bay the day of the formal Japanese surrender, 2 September, and on the 3rd joined TF 38. Operations in the Marshalls, Marianas, and off Japan followed and in April 1946 she returned to Pearl Harbor. On the 28th she arrived at San Diego whence she operated for the next year.

 

In May 1947, she returned to the Far East for three months on the China station, two weeks of which were spent off Chinwangtao, on the Gulf of Po Hai, observing Communist Chinese forces.

 

Perkins returned to California in October and in January 1948 sailed to the Marshalls for the atomic test series operation “Sandstone”. Overhaul followed her return to San Diego in June and on 4 January 1949 she departed the west coast for another tour off the China coast. Arriving at Tsingtao 7 February, she was redesignated DDR–877 on the 18th. Scheduled exercises soon began, but, in addition, she was called on to lift foreign residents of Tsingtao to Hong Kong as Communist forces took over the former city in May. In June she battled her first typhoon, and after visiting Singapore in August, she returned to San Diego.

 

Engaged in training exercises off the west coast and yard overhaul for the next year, Perkins, reassigned to DesDiv 11, sailed west again in mid-August 1950. She served on SAR station in the central Pacific, returned to the west coast in October, and on 2 February 1951 got underway for the embattled coast of Korea. Between March and September she performed screening and plane guard duties for the carriers of TF 77 and carried out gunfire support and shore bombardment missions with TF 95. On 25 September Perkins arrived at Yokosuka from the bombline and the next day continued on toward the United States. In June 1952 she returned to Korea. She spent July entirely on the bombline, shifted briefly to TF 77, then steamed south for duty on the Taiwan Patrol. By 8 September she was back on the bombline. On 15 October, while covering minesweeping operations preparatory to an amphibious feint against Kojo, 35 miles north of the battlefront, one of her crew was killed and 17 were wounded by 2 near misses from Communist shore batteries. Only slightly damaged, she continued her combat activities and for the remainder of her tour alternated gunfire support operations with carrier escort duties.

 

At the end of the year Perkins returned to the United States. In July 1953 she completed a six month overhaul and in August she returned to the Far East. There six months she patrolled off the Korean Truce line and Taiwan Strait and participated in exercises from Japan to the Philippines. After that deployment Perkins continued to rotate between duty with the 7th Fleet in the western Pacific and operations with the 1st Fleet off the west coast. In July 1956 she contributed to the information gathering effort of the IGY by “chasing” weather balloons and in September 1959 helped TF 77 forestall overt hostilities during the Laotian crisis. In March 1962 she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization. Redesignated DD–877, 30 September, she emerged from the Mark II overhaul and conversion in December with a new superstructure configured for DASH.

 

The “new” destroyer spent the next ten months exercising off the west coast and in mid-October 1963 resumed annual deployments to WestPac, her first mission to conduct operations with the carrier Hancock in the South China Sea. Continuing to alternate 7th Fleet and 1st Fleet duty tours into 1970, each of Perkins’s WestPac deployments have returned her to the South China Sea where, off the coast of Viet Nam, she has performed screening and plane guard duties for TF 77, provided gunfire support to Allied ground forces, and intercepted North Vietnamese logistics craft navigating along the indented coastline to supply areas in South Viet Nam.

 

Perkins (DDR–877) earned three battle stars during the Korean Conflict.