USS BARRY (DD-933)
Wilkinson (DD-930) was laid down on 1 February 1950 at Quincy
by the Bethlehem Steel Co. Shipbuilding Division
reclassified a destroyer leader
on 9 February 1951; launched on 23 April 1952
sponsored by Lady Catherine Moore
the former Mrs. Theodore S. Wilkinson
and commissioned on 3 August 1954
Comdr. Donald G. Dockum in command.
After shakedown training out of Guantanamo Bay
and the usual post-shakedown availability
Wilkinson departed her home port
on 21 February 1955-with Rear Admiral Arleigh Burke
Atlantic Fleet (and s
oon to become the Chief of Naval Operations) and members of his staff embarked-and carried Admiral Burke on an inspection tour that included visits to San Juan
Guantanamo Bay and Havana
Cuba; and Key West
pon her return
the destroyer leader became flagship for Commander
Destroyer Flotilla (DesFlot) 2
part of the Atlantic Fleet's antisubmarine forces. For three months thereafter
the ship conducted antisubmarine warfare (ASW) exercises.
On 11 July
Wilkinson-with 70 1st and 3d class NROTC midshipmen embarked-departed the east coast for a training cruise. During the ensuing voyage
the warship touched at Edinburgh
and Guantanamo Bay
to the United States on 2 September.
Wilkinson departed her home port on 24 October 1955 for air defense exercises in the Gulf of Mexico
DesFlot 6 embarked. During that cruise
Wilkinson visited New Orleans and Havana
before she arrived back at Newport on 18 N
ovember. On 2 December
the ship entered the Boston Naval Shipyard for a five-month overhaul and the installation of improved 3-inch antiaircraft guns.
After successfully completing her sea trials for her newly installed 3-inch
Wilkinson conducted underway training out of Guantanamo Bay. She later visited Port-au-Prince
part in large-scale ASW maneuvers in June. The ship's performance during the fiscal year 1956 earned her the Battle Efficiency "E."
In July 1956
Wilkinson departed Newport
bound for San Diego
and duty with the Pacific Fleet. En route to her new home port
the frigate visited Havana; Balboa
Canal Zone; and Buena Ventura
before she became flagship of Comman
Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 17-the first ship of her type assigned to the Pacific Fleet.
Between August 1956 and March 1957
Wilkinson operated locally out of San Diego and took part in ASW
and amphibious exercises. One highlight of that period occurred on 14 September 1956
when Wilkinson headed a veritable "armad
a" of 70 fighting ships during a 1st Fleet review off Long Beach
in what some called the largest naval parade on the west coast in 22 years.
During March and April 1957
Wilkinson operated in the Bering Sea and the Aleutians
visiting Kodiak and Dutch Harbor
en route to her operating area. While steaming back to San Diego
she touched at Esquimalt
British Columbia; Seattle
sh.; and San Francisco. Later
during part of May
Rear Admiral Chester Wood
Cruiser-Destroyer Force Pacific Fleet
embarked in Wilkinson for air defense and ASW exercises. In June
the warship visited Portland
to take part in t
he annual Rose Festival activities.
Wilkinson's home port was changed from San Diego to Long Beach in July 1957
and the destroyer leader entered the naval shipyard there in February 1958 for extensive modifications to her power plant. Released from the yard in September
er leader conducted underway training out of San Diego and operated locally for the remainder of 1958
In January 1959
Wilkinson deployed on her first Western Pacific (WestPac) cruise
visiting Pearl Harbor
Hawaii; Subic Bay
and the Japanese ports of Yokosuka and Kure
before she returned to L
ong Beach in March
After again operating locally between April and October 1959
she participated in various exercises off the coast of California and in another 1st Fleet review. Wilkinson began her second WestPac deployment when she departed Long Beach in October.
Coming under the operational control of Commander
Wilkinson took part in the Taiwan Strait patrol
and various fast carrier task force operations in the Far East.
Returning to Long Beach in March 1960
Wilkinson entered the naval shipyard there for a five-month overhaul. During that period of repairs and alterations
the ship's combat intelligence center ( CIC ) was enlarged and modified
and a long-range ai
r search radar was added. In addition
a DASH (Destroyer Anti-Submarine Helicopter-sometimes sardonically nicknamed the "Down At Sea Helicopter") system-was installed. This change increased Wilkinson's ASW capacity several fold.
Following Wilkinson's departure from the shipyard in August 1960
she carried out six weeks of underway training out of San Diego. She operated locally during October and November and
after a month-long leave and upkeep period in December
loyed to WestPac for the third time
departing Long Beach on 3 January 1961.
En route to the Far East
Wilkinson-a unit of Destroyer Division 191-visited Pearl Harbor; Midway; and Apra Harbor
Guam. In mid-March 1961
she headed for the South China Sea where an increased American naval presence was required by the Laotian c
risis. After operating with a fast carrier task group almost continuously well into the spring
the destroyer leader departed WestPac on 12 May and reached Long Beach on the 27th.
She entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard in June for the installation of improved sonar equipment
a task that continued into mid-1962. After refresher training
the warship operated in Puget Sound for technical evaluation of her new sonar system and the
n returned south
down the coast
to work with submarines in the southern California operating area.
Following further local operations
Wilkinson departed Long Beach on 17 June 1963 to return to the Atlantic Fleet. Calling at the Mexican ports of Acapulco and Salina Cruz en route
Wilkinson transited the Panama Canal on 29 June and arrived
at Newport on 5 July.
Within two weeks
Wilkinson was underway for sonar evaluation that continued until 8 December. During the operation
the ship visited Bermuda and New York City. The frigate subsequently made another operational evaluation of the sonar system from 1
July 1964 to 20 May 1965
at which time she reported to Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force
Atlantic Fleet. During that time
the ship operated in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean and along the continental shelf between Newport and New York. During th
the ship visited Key West
and conducted type training in the Jacksonville
operating area while steaming back to Newport.
After a pre-overhaul tender availability
Wilkinson visited New York City for four days
off-loaded ammunition subsequently at Earle
and proceeded to Boston for an overhaul which lasted until 5 February 1966.
After returning via Earle to Newport a little over a month later
Wilkinson sailed south to Cuban waters for refresher training-conducting those evolutions between 11 March and 28 April. While still at Guantanamo
on 8 April
the ship received orde
rs at 0310 to assist a burning freighter. Underway at 0407
Wilkinson sped at flank speed to the scene of the disaster and
reached the stricken Norwegian passenger freighter Viking Princess. A fire and rescue party from USCGC Co
ok Inlet (W-384) had meanwhile boarded the blazing merchantman to fight her fires. At 0809
Wilkinson began closing the Nationalist Chinese merchantman Chungking Victory to receive the surviving crew members of Viking Princess-a p
rocess completed by 0914. The frigate took the 13 survivors back to Guantanamo where she arrived shortly before noon and disembarked the rescued mariners.
After departing Guantanamo Bay on 28 April
Wilkinson touched at San Juan
and reached Newport on 2 May. She remained in port until departing on the last day of the month
bound for Boston and an availability. During the ensuing overha
the ship received a number of repairs and alterations
including the final installation of new sonar equipment then being evaluated by the Navy. Briefly departing Boston on 15 August and again on 30 August
the frigate conducted sea trials and tested
her sonar-during cruises lasting but a day or two-before she completed her availability and sailed for Newport on 31 August
reaching her home port the following day.
For the remainder of 1966
Wilkinson remained in port at Newport except for three periods of independent steaming exercises (ISE's)-from 6 to 9 September
from 23 to 26 September
and from 2 to 5 December. Underway on 15 January 1967
headed south to Argentine waters
subsequently taking part in the Argentinian naval review at Mar del Plata from 4 to 8 February on the occasion of the celebrations commemorating the sesquicentennial of Argentina's independence.
Returning to Newport on 5 March
Wilkinson then proceeded to the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard at East Boston
where she received a data acquisition system for her sonar equipment. She returned-via Stamford
where she participated in Veter
an's Day memorial services-to Newport on 4 May.
Later that month
Wilkinson sailed for Montreal Canada
where she served as part of the United States exhibit during "United States Week
" from 21 to 28 May
at the world's fair
Expo 67. Highlighting Wilkinson's stay at Montreal was a surpr
ise visit to the exposition by President Lyndon B. Johnson. During the ceremonies at the United States exhibit
Wilkinson men served as Presidential Honor Guard.
Returning to Newport on 1 June
Wilkinson continued further sonar evaluations into the summer and fall months of 1967
operating primarily out of Newport but also east of the Bahamas. Between her periods at sea were times in port for tender availab
ilities and type training in the Narragansett Bay operating area.
The ship put into Port Everglades to take on fuel on 3 October and was standing back out on the 5th when a weak cleat snapped while the motor whaleboat was being secured for sea. The whiplash of the line struck a sailor
injuring both of his legs and requ
iring immediate medical attention beyond that which the ship could provide. Wilkinson immediately headed back to Port Everglades at flank speed
radioing ahead for a boat to pick up the injured seaman. A torpedo retriever boat sent out by the Naval
Ordnance Laboratory and Test Facility
took the man on board to a waiting ambulance at pierside. The seaman was then taken to Homestead Air Force Base hospital where he was treated for fractures of both legs.
After the incident
Wilkinson returned to sea and conducted further sonar tests-in company with Grouper (AGSS-214)-before the frigate visited Freeport
from 11 to 13 October. Proceeding back to Newport soon thereafter
nson reached her home port on the 25th but soon headed south for repairs at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. She returned to her home port on 21 December.
Beginning 1968 in-port at Newport
Wilkinson spent much of the rest of the year conducting further technical evaluation of sonar equipment in the Bahamas
interspersed with type training in the Mayport operating area and in-port periods at Newport.
After a preoverhaul period of availability alongside Yosemite (AD-19)
Wilkinson entered the Boston Naval Shipyard on 13 September for her regular overhaul that rounded out the year and lasted into June 1969.
Following her sea trials
Wilkinson got underway for Narragansett Bay for sonar tests
before she set course for Earle
to load ammunition in preparation for refresher training. Late in July
the frigate visited New York City from 25 to 28 Ju
ly before she shifted to Newport on the latter date. She remained in her home port for almost a month
conducting a dependents' cruise in Narragansett Bay operating areas on the 22d. It was during that cruise that the ship's commanding officer announced t
hat Wilkinson was to be decommissioned as part of a cut back in military expenses.
With the cancellation of all her previous schedules Wilkinson shifted to the South Annex of the Boston Naval Shipyard to commence inactivation on 3 September. Shifting to the Naval Inactive Ship Facility at Philadelphia on the 22nd
was decommissioned on 19 December 1969 and placed in reserve.
Struck from the Navy list on 1 May 1974
Wilkinson was sold to Luria Brothers. She departed Philadelphia under tow on 19 June 1975 to be scrapped.
[Note: The above USS BARRY (DD-933) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS BARRY (DD-933) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]