USS Gearing (DD-710) was the lead ship of a class
of destroyers in the United States Navy. She was named for three
generations of the Gearing family, Commander Henry Chalfant Gearing,
Sr., Captain Henry Chalfant Gearing, Jr. and Lieutenant Henry
Chalfant Gearing, III
Gearing was launched on 18 February 1945 by the Federal Shipbuilding
& Drydock Co., Kearny, New Jersey. Gearing was sponsored by Mrs.
Thomas M. Foley, daughter of Commander Gearing and commissioned 3
May 1945 with Commander T. H. Copeman in command.
History in details
After shakedown off Cuba, Gearing reached Norfolk 22 July 1945 and
trained precommisioning crews for other destroyers until putting in
at Casco Bay, Maine, 5 October. Gearing put in at Pensacola,
Florida, 4 November to screen the aircraft carrier Ranger during
carrier qualification operations.
Returning to Norfolk 21 March 1946, she conducted peacetime
operations along the Atlantic coast of North and South America, in
the Caribbean, visiting Montevideo, Uruguay; and Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil. Gearing sailed 10 November 1947 on her first Mediterranean
cruise, calling at Algeria, Malta, Italy, and France before mooring
again at Norfolk 11 March 1948.
Peacetime operations along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean
prepared her for a second cruise to European waters; the destroyer
visited most of the nations washed by the Mediterranean from 10
November 1947 to 11 March 1948 and duplicated this long voyage from
4 January to 23 May 1949.
During the fall of 1949 Gearing took part in Operation Frostbite, an
Arctic cruise test and development of cold weather techniques and
equipment. She continued operations off the east coast of the United
States and in the Caribbean through 1950. Another voyage from 10
January to 17 May 1951 brought her from Norfolk to the Mediterranean
and return; the remainder of the year was occupied by training
cruises as far north as Halifax and south to Cuban waters.
By now Gearing had established the pattern of peacetime operations
she followed well into the 1960s: "Med" cruises usually once a year,
and exercise in the Atlantic and Caribbean. These kept her in
fighting trim for the ceaseless duties of seapower. She also took
part in negotiations during the Santa Maria hijacking, and was
modernized and overhauled late 1961 through early 1962 at Boston.
In October 1962 Gearing took part in the American naval blockade of
Cuba in response to Cuban Missile Crisis, the basing of Soviet
ballistic missiles on that island, and was the first to intercept a
Soviet vessel. After diplomatic negotiations ended this crisis,
Gearing returned to Norfolk on 1 November 1962. Through the
remainder of 1962 she continued operations in the Atlantic.
After participating in Operation "Springboard-63" early in 1963,
Gearing sailed for the Mediterranean in March serving with the 6th
Fleet during the summer. She returned to Newport in September for a
"FRAM I" overhaul. Following operations in the Caribbean and North
Atlantic in the spring and summer of 1964, Gearing entered the
Mediterranean on 4 October to rejoin the 6th Fleet. After returning
home early in 1965, she continued operating in the Atlantic Fleet
She was decommissioned in 1973, stricken on 1 July 1973 and sold for
scrap on 6 November 1974.