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Richard P. Leary (DD-684)

(DD-664: displacement 2,940 (full load); length 376-5-; beam 39-7-; draft 13-9-; speed 35 knots; complement 329; armament 5 5-, 10 40mm., 10 21- torpedo tubes; class Fletcher)

Richard Phillips Leary was born 3 November 1842 in Baltimore, Md. He entered the Naval Academy in 1860. During the Civil War, he served in Canandaigua and Sangamon assigned to the Atlantic blockade. Later, during tension with Germany over Samoa, Leary commanded Adams at Samoa from October to December 1888. In the Spanish-American War, he commanded San Francisco off Havana, Cuba. From 1899 into 1900, Captain Leary served as Naval Governor of Guam. Retiring in 1901, Rear Admiral Leary died 27 December at Chelsea, Mass.

Richard P. Leary (DD-664) was laid down 4 July 1943 at the Navy Yard, Boston, Mass.; launched 6 October 1943; sponsored by Mrs. George K. Crozer III; and commissioned 23 February 1944, Comdr. Frederic S. Habecker in command.

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Richard P. Leary sailed via the Panama Canal for Pearl Harbor. After escort duty to Eniwetok and Saipan in July, she supported the landings at Peleliu 15 September, and at Leyte 20 October. During the Battle of Surigao Strait on the 25th, she launched torpedoes, splashed one enemy plane, and guarded the damaged Albert W. Grant (DD-649). While patrolling off Leyte Gulf on 1 November, she rescued 70 survivors of Abner Read (DD-526). During the Lingayen Gulf campaign, she shot down one enemy plane 6 January 1945, and rendered fire-support for the landings on the 9th. She again supplied gunfire support for the landings at Iwo Jima 19 February and for the landings at Okinawa 1 April. During the night of 6-7 April she escorted the damaged Morris (DD-417) to Kerama Retto, Okinawa Gunto. Upon completion of duties at Okinawa her next assignment took her to Adak, Alaska, in August. After serving in the Aleutians, she sailed for Japan arriving at Ominato, 8 September. She departed Japan on the 30th, and steamed to San Diego, Calif.

Designated for inactivation after her return, she decommissioned 10 December 1946, and was assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Richard P. Leary was transferred 10 March 1959 to Japan, in whose Navy she served as Yugure until retired in 1974.

Richard P. Leary received six battle stars for World War II service.


14 October 2005

Published: Mon Apr 04 09:48:18 EDT 2016