USS NEWMAN K. PERRY (DD 883) was built by the Consolidated Ship Corporation of Orange, Texas. The ship was commissioned on July 26, 1945 and named in memory of Ensign Newman Kershaw Perry, U. S. Naval Academy Class of 1901, who was killed in a boiler explosion on board the USS BENNINGTON in 1905.
After her maiden shakedown cruise and various operations in the Atlantic Ocean, NEWMAN K. PERRY sailed West in November 1945 to become an active unit of the Pacific Fleet. In the summer of 1946, she saw duty at Bikini Atoll for Operation Crossroads, the first test of the atom as a weapon of naval warfare. During her Pacific tour, NEWMAN K. PERRY was awarded the Commander Destroyer Force Pacific "E" for outstanding battle efficiency in both 1948 and 1949. In 1949, more-over, she was one of two in the entire Navy to receive the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Award, in recognition of her outstanding fitness and readiness as a naval unit.
NEWMAN K. PERRY transferred back to the Atlantic Fleet during 1950 and participated in a Mediterranean deployment with the Sixth Fleet. A Navy Yard overhaul in 1951 supplied her with many new equipments aimed toward increasing the ship's effectiveness. Refresher training at Guantanamo Bay followed this Navy Yard period.
Following three years of routine operations, including a deployment with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, NEWMAN K. PERRY earned her third Battle Efficiency "E" in 1955. In a second Mediterranean deployment during the same year, the ship was selected to represent the United States Government at the inauguration ceremonies of W.V.S. Tubman as President of the Republic of Liberia.
Repeating her previous performance, NEWMAN K. PERRY again won the Battle Efficiency "E" during Atlantic Fleet Operations in 1956. She returned to the Sixth Fleet in 1957, and participated in Midshipman Cruise Alpha.
June 1958 found NEWMAN K. PERRY in a new role as a school ship for Commander Destroyer Force Atlantic. She operated in this capacity out of Newport, Rhode Island, until the Jordan Crisis, when she was recalled to the Second Fleet to participate in extensive readiness exercises followed by a seven month Mediterranean deployment.
In 1959, NEWMAN K. PERRY joined Destroyer Flotilla Six, serving as Flagship for three months and changing her homeport to Charleston, S. C. She again deployed to the Mediterranean and served as Flagship for Commander Destroyer Squadron Six. An extensive yard period followed PERRY's return to Charleston. The ship's 3-inch gun mounts were removed and the latest, most effective, air search radar equipment was installed. Many interior areas of the ship were also renovated.
Following this overhaul, NEWMAN K. PERRY left Charleston for another period of refresher training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in preparation for her participation in the first manned Mercury capsule recovery of May 5, 1961. August 3, 1961 found NEWMAN K. PERRY again operating in the Mediterranean, this time in the Black Sea Area. After returning briefly to her home port in March 1962, the ship participated in the Presidential Naval review in April and two amphibious operations in the Caribbean. She then returned to Charleston for a well earned Navy Yard overhaul.
Routine summer Training Operations were climaxed in October 1962 by the sudden deployment of Destroyer Squadron Six in the Vanguard of the Cuban quarantine forces. Besides fulfilling her mission as radar picket ship, NEWMAN K. PERRY earned added praise for a high state of overall readiness which enabled her to perform many other duties as well.
Returning to Charleston for a short stay after the quarantine was lifted, she returned once again to the Mediterranean in 1963. In April 1964, NEWMAN K. PERRY left the active fleet to enter Boston Naval Shipyard for FRAM I conversion. During a period of eleven months, the newest anti- submarine warfare equipment was installed. Leaving Boston in March 1965, NEWMAN K. PERRY proceeded to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to again undergo refresher training and then in May arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, her new home port.
June and July found her participating as an active unit of Destroyer Squadron Twenty, making preparations to become its Flagship and to deploy again to the Mediterranean in August 1965.
NEWMAN K. PERRY spent the fall of 1965 in the Mediterranean, returning to Newport late in December. 1966 found her participating in Operation Spring- board 66 in the Caribbean, and numerous local anti-submarine warfare exercises. The 1965-66 Atlantic Fleet Competitive Year was completed in June 1966 with NEWMAN K. PERRY being awarded her 5th Battle Efficiency "E".
Preparations were made during the fall of 1966 for NEWMAN K. PERRY to return to Pacific waters and she departed Newport, Rhode Island in October 1966 for duty with the Pacific Fleet. While attached to the Seventh Fleet she conducted operations in the gulf of Tonkin, the gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam. In May, 1967, NEWMAN K. PERRY returned to Newport for a brief stay until she again entered Boston Naval Shipyard for repairs.