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Fred T. Berry (DD-858)

(DD-858: dp. 2,425: l. 390'6"; b. 41'1"; dr. 18'6"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 367; a. 6 5", 5 21" tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Gearing)

Fred Thomas Berry, born 23 November 1887 in Logan, Iowa, was a member of the Naval Academy class of 1908. Through much of his early career he specialized in engineering duty, and during World War I commanded McCall (DD-28). He was awarded the Navy Cross for his outstanding performance of duty in this billet. In 1927, he began training in dirigibles, and later commanded the airship Los Angeles (ZR-3). Commander Berry was lost in the crash of Akron (ZRS-4) off the New Jersey coast 4 April 1933.

Fred T. Berry (DD-858) was launched 28 January 1945 by Bethlehem Steel Co., San Pedro, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Fred T. Berry, widow of Commander Berry; and commissioned 12 May 1945, Commander N. J. Frank, Jr., in command. She was reclassified DDE-858 on 4 March 1950.

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

Fred T. Berry left San Diego 25 August 1949 for her new home port, Newport, R.I., arriving 11 September. The Atlantic Fleet exercise schedule took her from Greenland to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the 10 months that followed. Alerted for temporary duty in the Mediterranean at the opening of the Korean war, Fred T. Berry sailed from Newport 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 Hungnam during the withdrawal from that port. Detached from TF 77 on 5 February 1951, Fred T. Berry sailed eastward to complete her circumnavigation of the world with her return to Newport 14 March 1951.

During each of the next 3 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 antisubmarine 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 received two battle stars for Korean war service.

Published: Thu Jul 09 10:48:46 EDT 2015