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Gearing (DD-710)

(DD-710; dp. 2,425; l. 390'6"; b. 40'10"; dr. 18'6"; s. 84.6 k; cpl. 345; a. 6 5". 12 40mm., 2 21" tt, 6 dcp, 2 dct. cl. Gearing)

Gearing (DD-710) was named for three generations of naval men. Henry Chalfant Gearing, born 9 June 1855 at Pittsburgh, Pa., graduated from the Naval Academy in 1876. Gearing served on various ships of the Navy during his early years, including Lackawana, Tuscarora, and Essex. He spent tours of duty at the Naval Academy and on board Glacier. After being promoted to Commander in 1905, Gearing commanded the naval stations at Cavite and Olongapo, P.I., until his retirement in 1909. He died 16 August 1926 at Charlottesville, Virginia.

Henry Chalfant Gearing, Jr., born 22 January 1887 at Boston, Massachusetts, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1907. He served on California, Illinois, and other ships besides commanding a long list of destroyers, among them Woolsey, Dobbin, and Maury. He was appointed Captain in 1934. Subsequently, he commanded Destroyer Squadron 4 and Naval Training Station, San Diego, before his death 24 February 1944 at San Diego Naval Hospital.

Henry Chalfant Gearing III, born 16 August 1912 at Vallejo, Calif., and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1935. After serving several ships as a young officer, he joined Juneau as a Lieutenant in 1942, and was lost with his ship when it was torpedoed and sunk in the Solomon Islands 13 November 1942.

Gearing (DD-710) was launched 18 February 1945 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas M. Foley, daughter of Comdr. Gearing; and commissioned 3 May 1945, Commander T. H. Copeman in command.

After shakedown off Cuba, Gearing reached Norfolk 22 July 1945 and trained precommisioning crews for other destroyers until putting in at Casco Bay, Maine, 5 October. Celebration of Navy Day from 26 to 29 October at New London, Conn., gave 5,000 citizens the chance to board the powerful destroyer. Subsequently Gearing put in at Pensacola, Fla., 4 November to screen carrier Ranger during carrier qualification operations.

Returning to Norfolk 21 March 1946, she conducted peacetime operations along the Atlantic coast of North and South America, in the Caribbean, visiting Montevido. Uraguay; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Gearing sailed 10 November 1947 on her first Mediterranean cruise, calling at Algeria, Malta, Italy, and France before mooring again at Norfolk 11 March 1948.

Peacetime operations along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean prepared her for a second cruise to European waters; the destroyer visited most of the nations washed by the Mediterranean from 10 November 1947 to 11 March 1948, and duplicated this long voyage from 4 January to 23 May 1949.

During the fall of 1949 Gearing took part in Operation Frostbite, an Arctic cruise test and development of cold weather techniques and equipment. She continued operations off the east coast of the United States and in the Caribbean through 1950. Another voyage 10 January to 17 May 1951, brought her from Norfolk to the Mediterranean and return; the remainder of the year was occupied by training cruises as far north as Halifax and south to Cuban waters.

By now Gearing had established the pattern of peacetime operations she followed well into the 1960's: "Med" cruises usually once a year, and exercise in the Atlantic and Caribbean. These kept her in fighting trim for the ceaseless duties of seapower. She was modernized and overhauled late 1961 through early 1962 at Boston.

In October 1962 Gearing took part in the American "quarantine" patrol against Cuba as the world trembled on the brink of war. This swift and classic use of power at sea solved the crisis. On 1 November Gearing returned to Norfolk. Through the remainder of 1962 she continued operations in the Atlantic.

After participating in Operation "Springboard-63." early in 1963, Gearing sailed for the Mediterranean in March serving with the 6th Fleet during the summer. She returned to Newport in September for a "FRAM I" overhaul. Following operations in the Caribbean and North Atlantic in the spring and summer of 1964, Gearing entered the Mediterranean 4 October to rejoin the 6th Fleet. After returning home early in 1965, she continued operating in the Atlantic Fleet into 1967.

Published: Wed Apr 27 07:11:30 EDT 2016