The USS Perkins (DD-877) served in the U.S. Navy for nearly three decades in the mid-20th century before being transferred to Argentina. She was named for Commodore George Hamilton Perkins who served in the Civil War. Perkins was a member of the Gearing class of destroyers.
Perkins was laid down at Orange, Texas by the Consolidated Steel Corporation in June 1944, launched in December, and commissioned in April 1945 with Commander Thomas M. Fleck in command. Carrying a crew of 336, Perkins had a range of 4,500 nautical miles at 20 knots and was armed with six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, eleven 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, twelve 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Perkins, converted to a radar picket destroyer at the Norfolk Navy Yard, joined Destroyer Division 52 at Pearl Harbor and was deployed to the Far East in August 1945. Present in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender, Perkins then joined Task Force 38 to serve in the Marshall Islands, the Marianas, and off Japan. The destroyer returned to Pearl Harbor in April 1946 and arrived at San Diego later in the month.
Perkins served in the Far East in May 1947 off China, remained off California from October to January 1948, and then operated during atomic tests in the Marshall Islands. She returned to San Diego in June and then was deployed to China in January 1949. Re-designated DDR-877 at Tsingtao in February, Perkins conducted fleet exercises and transported foreign residents to Hong Kong after the Communist take-over of Tsingtao in May.
Perkins conducted training exercises and was overhauled on the west coast, and then operated in the central Pacific in 1950. From February to September1951, she began operated off the coast of Korea to conduct screening and plane guard duties, as well as bombardment operations. Perkins returned to Korea from June to December 1952, while enemy fire resulted in one fatality and 17 wounded, and then served there again for six months in 1953.
Deployments with the 7th Fleet in the western Pacific and with the 1st Fleet off the west coast continued until 1962, when Perkins underwent FRAM II overhaul at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. Perkins then resumed annual deployments to the Far East, which included service off the coast of Vietnam. Decommissioned in 1973, Perkins was transferred to Argentina, renamed Comodoro Py, and used for scrap there in 1984.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Perkins (DD-877)
Crew members aboard Perkins were at risk for asbestos exposure, as were dock and shipyard workers performing repairs and refits on the vessel. Families of dockyard workers were also exposed because dockworkers would carry toxic asbestos dust on their clothes and into their homes. Researchers have established a proven association between inhalation of asbestos fibers and the later development of mesothelioma cancer.
A mesothelioma lawyer can provide legal solutions for former sailors with asbestos-related diseases. We have written an extensive mesothelioma information packet to assist you in understanding this disease and your rights. Please fill in the form on this page and we'll rush you your information kit, at no cost to you.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-877.
NavSource Naval History. Perkins (DD-877).