COMMAND HISTORY OF THE USS Donald B. Beary (FF/FFT-1085)
USS Donald B. Beary (FF/FFT-1085) was built by Avondale Shipyards,Inc. at Westwego, LA. Her keel was laid on 24 July 1970, and she was launched on 22 May 1971. Mrs. Mary L. Beary, widow of Admiral Beary was the ship's sponsor. On 25 June 1972 the Donald B.Beary was delivered to the Boston Naval Shipyard for fitting out with weapons systems and commissioning. Donald B. Beary (FF/FFT-1085) was commissioned on 22 July 1972. Beary got underway in January 1974 for her first deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. Operations with the Sixth Fleet included: Dark Image, Dawn Patrol, and Poop Deck. Beary crossed the Arctic Circle on July 3, 1974 enrooute from Scotland to Norway. In 1975 the ship departed Norfolk for her second Mediterranean deployment. Sixth Fleet exercises included: Dawn Patrol and ASW Ops in the Western Mediterranean. On this deployment Donald B. Beary was awarded the Battle Efficiency Award for 1975. In 1976 Beary left Norfolk for a Middle East deployment as DesRon Twenty-Two's flagship. The ship transitted the Suez Canal in June and observed July 4th celebrations in Jidda, Saudi Arabia where Beary's Commanding Officer and the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia made a presentation to King Khalid. The ship crossed the equator for the first time while enroute to Mombassa, Kenya. The ship was awarded the Battle Efficiency Award for 1976. In 1977, Beary changed homeports from Norfolk to Bath, ME, for a Base Line Overhaul at Bath Iron Works. The overhaul lasted one year and included the installation of: a sonar dome rubber window, air search radar, an IFF system air conditioning plant, CHT sewage system, Harpoon weapons systems, and CHAFF launchers. The ship completed overhaul in June 1978.
The beginning of 1979 saw BEARY leaving Norfolk for a deployment to the Mediterranean. The ship joined the Sixth Fleet, but was sent to the Middle East as part of an augmentation force after trouble began in Iran. The ship operated with Seventh Fleet and spent March exercing with USS Constellation in the Persian Gulf. In June, Beary participated in "Kieler Woche" in Kiel, Germany with nine other allied navies.
In March 1980 BEARY departed again for the Mediterranean , where she participated in Dawn Patrol 80 and was picked to be the USN representative for the annual Admiral Farragut Day Celebration in Menocra, Spain. In June the ship transitted the Dardanelles to the Black Sea, where a Soviet Krivak-class destroyer shadowed Beary's movements during exercises.
August 1981 saw the ship depart again for the Mediterranean. BEARY joined NAVOCFORMED for exercises PEACE ABROAD, DISPLAYED DETERMINATION 81, CRISEX 81, an amphibious assault exercise with the Spanish navy, and the French exercise Iles D'or.
IN 1983, BEARY left Norfolk for her sixth deployment to the Sixth Fleet. The ship transitted the Suez Canal for operations with the Seventh Fleet in April and crossed the equator repeatly in April, May and June. Returning to Norfolk BEARY diverted to the Caribbean for drug interdiction efforts with the Coast Guard. After completing Drug Ops; BEARY was underway to New York for an overhaul at Coastal Drydock.
In 1985 DONALD B. BEARY received the Close In Weapons System (CIWS) prior to departing for the Mediterraneandeployment and participating in the NATO exercise OCEAN SAFARI 85. After arriving in the Mediterranean BEARY was involved in Operation DISPLAY DETERMINATION 85, RAWHIDE and DOGFISH-1/86. BEARY returned from deployment in April.
In 1987, BEARY departed on her eighth deployment to the Mediterranean. A high visibility shipyard availability was conducted successfully in Alexandria, Egypt in early 1988, and BEARY return homein the spring. Scheduled as the U.S. Navy's representative to Jamaican Martime Week Festivities, DONALD B. BEARY's mission became one of disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane GILBERT. BEARY was the first ship the provide assistance to the devastated island.
The next Mediterranean deployment involved many port visits, including one to Haifa, Israel, where American reports came aboard BEARY for the filming of a 1989 Christmas special.
USS DONALD B. BEARY began 1991involved in Counter Narcotic Operations and transitting the Panama Canal for the first time in the spring. BEARY returned to Norfolk but soon departed for the a second CNOPS in July. On the second CNOPS, BEARY intercepted the 60 foot sailing vessel "Blue Whale" with nearly 5000 pounds of cocaine hidden on board. BEARY towed the sailboat to Guantanamo Bay for turnover to Drug Enforcement Agency. On Octer 1st, USS DONALD B. BEARY was shifted to the Naval Reserve and redesignated as a FFT.
Female sailors arrived for duty in mid-February 1992 and Beary shifted homepots to Naval Station New York at Staten Island in March. In New York for the city's Fleet Week 92 festivities, BEARY acted as OCE for the city's "Parade of Ships". In the fall, BEARY commenced a shipyard availability with New York Shipyard in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
BEARY left in the summer of 1993 for CNOPS and return trip diverted to Newport , RI, for a visit by participants at a Foreign CNO Conference. The ship ended the year participating in FLEETEX 1-94.
BEARY departed its New York homeport for the last time in Fefruaruary 1994 to support a base closure of Naval Station New York and the Foreign Military Transfer of the ship to the Turkish Navy. The Turkish crew arrived aboard in March and the USN crew spent three months training their Turkish counterparts to operate the ship.
The lifetime of the DONALD B. BEARY has been a full one. She boasts ten full deployments to the Mediterranean and the Middle East and five Coast Guard Drug Interdiction Deployments. She earned four Battle Efficiency Awards, five Coast Guard Special operations ribbions, two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards, and one Humanitarian Service Award. She sailed in most of the seven seas: the Atlantic, Pacific,and Indian Oceans, the Mediterranean, Baltic, Black, and Red Seas. She passed through both the Suez and Panama Canals. She crossed the equator and the Arctic Circle. She is a veteran warrior with plenty of fight left in her. Her new crew is forunate to recive such a distinguished warship with such a proud tradition.
Jan 14 2001 01:57:49:000PM