John R. Perry was born 24 May 1899 in Waco, Tex. He enlisted in the Navy for service in World War I, then entered the Naval Academy and was commissioned Ensign 8 June 1923. After serving in Marcus (DD-321), he earned a master's degree in civil engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He then served in the Bureau of Yards and Docks; in Cuba, the Great Lakes region, Florida, and the Philippines. He returned to the Bureau of Yards and Docks in 1938 and in 1941 became Director of Administration and Personnel. In this post he performed with such proficiency that he was awarded the Legion of Merit for remarkable initiative and excellent judgment in recruiting, organizing, training, equipping and distributing to outlying bases, the Navy's construction battalions. In the course of 1 year he made available for service in the field some 70,000 men who formed a vital component part of our military organization in World War II.
In 1944 Perry became Officer in Charge of the 2d Naval Construction Brigade with additional duty on the staff of Commander Service Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The following year, he additionally became Commander, Construction Troops of the 7th Fleet. He was awarded a second Legion of Merit for the development of the Leyte-Samar area into a large naval base and assisting in the planning and construction of an air station, air strips, a fleet hospital, the Navy Receiving Station at Tubabao, a Navy Supply Depot, an ammunition depot and a ship repair base at Manicani. Through his engineering ingenuity, he greatly improved transportation facilities, sanitary installations and water supply lines, lines of communication, housing accommodations, storehouses and dumps, docking facilities and dredging operations.
At the close of World War II, Perry became Public Works Officer at the Naval Academy until 1948. He then was designated Assistant Chief for Operations in the Bureau of Yards and Docks. In July 1951 he assumed command of the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, Calif. From June to October 1953, he served as Director of the Pacific and Alaskan Division, Bureau of Yards and Docks, with headquarters at San Francisco. He then became Chief of Civil Engineers of the Navy and Chief of- the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department, serving until he died of a heart attack 25 September 1955. Rear Admiral John R. Perry is buried in the Naval Academy Cemetery, Annapolis, Md.
(DE-1034: dp. 1,750; l. 310'; b. 37'; dr. 18'; s. class.; cpl. 167; a. 2 3"; 6 21" tt.; 1 dct.; cl. Claud Jones)
John R. Perry (DE-1034) was laid down 4 January 1956 by Avondale Marine Ways, Avondale, La.; launched 29 July 1958; sponsored by Mrs. John R. Perry, widow of Rear Admiral Perry; and commissioned 5 May 1959, Lt. Comdr. W. L. Atkinson in command.
John R. Perry made a shakedown cruise to Northern Europe and Scandinavian countries, thence sailed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She then became a school ship for the Fleet Sonar School, basing at Key West, Fla., for antisubmarine warfare operations that took her to principal Caribbean and Gulf ports, sailing as far east as the Azores, and up the eastern seaboard to Norfolk. She was one of the Atlantic Fleet's warships responding to the President's call for a quarantine of Cuba (24 October-20 November 1962), which was being developed as a Soviet offensive base. She patrolled off the island to help choke off the flow of military supplies to Cuba and enforce American demands for the withdrawal of Soviet missiles. After American demands were substantially complied with, the persuasive tentacles of force were withdrawn.
John R. Perry resumed sonar schoolship duties out of Key West which continued through 1965. This principal service was interrupted by overhauls in the Charleston Navy Yard, special antisubmarine warfare tactics in the Caribbean and along the eastern seaboard with Task Force Alpha, and joint operations with units of the Venezuelan Navy (2-8 February 1964). During these years John R. Perry has helped train the men of the Navy in the latest ASW techniques and has steadily perfected her own ability to defend the Nation against the threat of a growing Soviet submarine force.
John R. Perry was transferred to the Pacific Fleet 1 May 1966. She departed Key West on the 16th, transited the Panama Canal 3 days later, and arrived Pearl Harbor 4 June to operate in the Hawaiian area through mid-1967.