Eight of this class were converted from DDs to Carpenter Class DDKs in April 1949. This program began when the Carpenter was moved to Newport News, Virginia from Consolidated Steel, Orange, Texas and completed with the Robert A. Owens completed at Bath, Maine, as Hunter-Killer Destroyers by mid December 1949. Another six ships were completed under the 1949 program at the Mare Island Navy yard resulting in a total of eight Carpenter Class ships rated as DDKs until March 4, 1950, when the DDE and DDK types merged. All eight vessels were reclassified as DD on June 30, 1962.
These DDK ships were completed and converted from the former Gearing class DD in order to form groups for the purpose of long and short-range interception of submarines before they could attack convoys. This DDK conversion consisted of equipment specifically designed to locate enemy submarines, track and destroy them which consisted of the Mk 100 Underwater Fire control system to coordinate the firing of the MK 23 torpedo launchers. Torpedo storage consisted of 20, Mk 35 or Mk 37 homing torpedoes. The Mk-56 fire control system controlled the MK 15 trainable Hedgehog weapons projector (Weapon B) which was installed where usually the second forward 5-inch mount would be located (mount 52) on a standard GEARING.
These ships were eventually equipped with the MK 108 Weapon A which fired a fast-sinking 250-lb charge approximately 1000 yards. Combined with the latest radar of the time, the CARPENTER class ships had the highest Anti-Submarine warfare (ASW) capability of any destroyer class prior to FRAM . While Hedgehog was eventually removed prior to FRAM as Weapon A was more effective, the CARPENTER class ships set the strategy for greater stand-off weapons deployment which would be expanded in the FRAM program.
CARPENTER CLASS DESTROYERS
Name of Ship
FRED T. BERRY DD 858 Bethlehem Steel, San Pedro 28 Jan 1945 15 Sept. 1970