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USS Leary (DD-879/DDR-879)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Leary (DD-879/DDR-879)

USS Leary (DD-879) was laid down 11 August 1944 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Tex.; launched 20 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Theodore S. Wilkinson, wife of Vice Adm. T. S. Wilkinson; and commissioned 7 May 1945, Comdr. Ernest G. Campbell in command.

On 23 June 1945 USS Leary (DD-879) completed her shakedown off Guantanamo Bay and proceeded to Norfolk. Overhauled and converted to a radar picket destroyer she reported for duty with TF 69 the day before the Japanese accepted terms for surrender. After a period of training off the Maine coast USS Leary (DD-879) proceeded to New York and took part in a presidential review 27 October. Sailing from New York 31 October, she provisioned at Norfolk, passed through the Panama Canal 11 to 13 November, and arrived off Tokyo 19 December. For 2 months USS Leary (DD-879) cruised Japanese waters operating out of Kure before transferring operations to the Marianas and the Ryukyus.

Her first Mediterranean deployment began in October. Departing Newport 29 October USS Leary (DD-879) broke a busy operating schedule by visits to ports in Algeria, Greece, Italy, and the island of Rhodes before returning home 14 February 1948. With the exception of 1957 USS Leary (DD-879) spent part of each year operating with the 6th Fleet. At times these cruises had the stimulus of joint NATO operations or Near Eastern crises. USS Leary (DD-879) was in the Mediterranean during the Suez crisis of 1956 and the Lebanon landings of 1958, playing her part in the peacekeeping efforts of the 6th Fleet, as she served as plane guard and on picket.

USS Leary (DD-879) returned to her home port, Norfolk, 16 December 1965 after completing extensive antisubmarine warfare exercises off the coast of North Carolina and Puerto Rico. Following another month of operations and a month readying for deployment with the 6th Fleet, USS Leary (DD-879) departed Norfolk 4 March 1966 for the Mediterranean.

On 5 July 1967 USS Leary (DD-879) left Norfolk and headed via the Panama Canal for an extended deployment in the Far East. On this cruise she alternated duty with the carriers on Yankee Station with gunfire support off the Vietnamese coast. Arriving back at Norfolk 30 January 1968, the destroyer resumed Atlantic coast operations until entering the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 14 June. In early September, after her yard period, USS Leary (DD-879) returned briefly to Norfolk before conducting training in the Caribbean through October and November. Operations off the east coast continued into 1969.

For a complete history of USS Leary (DD-879) please see its DANFS page.