The well-lit, but briefly-loved, Perry
I give you, the winner of Destroyer Division 601’s Christmas lighting competition, December 1961:
USS John R. Perry (DE-1034) Christmas lighting aboard ship while at Key West Naval Station Annex, Key West, Florida.
She was a Claud Jones-class destroyer escort built at Avondale in New Orleans and commissioned 5 May 1959. The 1,750-ton, 312-footer was lightly armed, even more so than DE’s of WWII, with just 2 3″/50 caliber Mk 33 guns, 6 324mm ASW torpedo tubes, and two Hedgehog projectors.
Slow and more of an offshore patrol vessel than a destroyer, they were unpopular ships for the Navy and soon on the chopping block when the new and much more capable ASROC/5-inch gun/DASH drone-equipped Knox-class (DE-1052/FF-1052), capable of 27+ knots, began showing up on the scene in 1969.
Perry was decommissioned in 1973 after just 14 years service and warm transferred to Indonesia, (along with all three of her sisters: Jones, Barry, and McMorris) where she served as the KRI Samadikun (341) until 2003.