USS Terry DD-513 (1943-1974)

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The USS Terry (DD-313) was commissioned at the Boston Navy yard on January 26, 1943, under Commander George R. Phelan.

Action in World War II

After a journey lasting several months, the Terry was finally in place off the coast of the North Eastern United States to begin antisubmarine operations. During this time an enemy fired torpedo was detected and narrowly avoided with quick maneuvering by the crew. The German U-boat was never found.  Shortly after rescuing survivors from a downed army bomber and delivering them to New York, the Terry headed for North Africa as part of Task Force 67 where she received repairs and practice for battle.

In September of 1943 she joined the Solomons campaign for its final five months, escorting supply convoys and assisting in the last two operations. Her first mission as part of the Solomons campaign was to intercept enemy evacuees along with three other ships. During an attack, shortly after opening fire, the Terry lost fire detection radar and needed quick repairs. She rejoined the attack and U.S. forces defeated the Japanese ships.

After fending off an air attack in early November she resumed her duties as escorting supply convoys and conducting patrols. Early December brought on a dual attack by air and sea. The Terry was again narrowly missed by torpedo fire and after shooting down an enemy plane the attack was abandoned.

She spent another three months in the Southwest Pacific Theater before ending her tour of duty in June of 1944. The USS Terry joined the Mariana campaign later that month with the task of destroying the Ushi Point Airfield and silencing enemy guns on northern Tinian. As a participant of the battle of the Great Philippine Sea, the Terry helped end the reign of Japanese air attacks.  One of her many accomplishments during the war was to help keep the area clear while minesweepers cleared the way to the beach for the great battle of Iwo Jima.

After the War

After the war she patrolled Japanese waters before arriving back home in San Diego, California, where she remained until eventually being moved and decommissioned in 1947.  Her name was removed from the naval register in 1974, the same year she was sold to Peru.  For her service and during World War II, the Terry was awarded seven battle stars.

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.


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