The USS Barry is a Forrest Sherman class destroyer commissioned in September of 1956. She spent the early part of the next year on a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean and west coast of South America. In the middle of 1957, the Barry was deployed to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea.
She would eventually have eight deployments to this portion of the world and would help to support carrier operations in 1958 against Lebanon. She was fitted in 1959 for the SQS-23 sonar, giving her a clipper bow. She spent the next couple of months training for ASW warfare in the Atlantic and Northern European waters.
Action in the Cold War
The Barry was sent back to the Mediterranean in 1962 as part of an ASW task force and in the fall of that same year she played a part of in the Cuban Missile Crisis. She was in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean in 1964 and had her first and only Pacific deployment in 1966, which even included Vietnam War duty. In 1966, the Barry acted as the test ship for the Mark 86 firing system, undergoing a two year modernization process that would make her look different, but would lead to better ASW warfare.
She was recommissioned in 1968 and again sent overseas to Northern Europe, in addition to the Mediterranean. She was homeported into Greece from 1972 and 1975 and would conduct NATO exercises and ASW operations. She was present in the 1973 Middle Eastern war and in the 1974 Cyprus Crisis, in addition to her NATO and anti-submarine duties. She would have another Sixth Fleet deployment, even traveling to the Baltic Sea in 1978.
For her final Sixth Fleet tour, she traveled to the Middle East for service in the Persian Gulf during the period after the Iranian Revolution. She would have a second deployment to those waters in 1971, lasting until November of 1982. She was then decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in 1983. After being towed to the Washington, D.C. area, the Barry became a museum ship in Washington, D.C., ending her active duty career.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially during World War II, naval destroyers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.