In mid 1943, Admiral Ernest J. King and BuShips recognized the need to improve the speed, long range endurance and reduce overloading of the new Sumner Class (DD-692) destroyers. After urgent design work, it was found that if the Sumners were lengthened by 14 feet, 160 tons of fuel could be added to increase range for screening convoys across the Atlantic. Cruising radius could be raised by 30 percent to 4,500 miles (at 20 kts.) The design change was implemented and... DD-710's keel was laid August 10, 1944 at Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Port Newark, NJ (Although Gearing was the "lead ship" of its class, at least 7 other "long-hulled" destroyers were launched from other shipyards within the 6 months before the Gearing.*) Launched February 18, 1945. Commissioned May 3, 1945. (Click HERE to see the first page of the ship's log: 5/3/45.) Decommissioned and stricken July 2, 1973, after 28 years of service. (Click HERE to see the last page of the ship's log: 7/2/73.) Named for three generations of Naval service by the Henry Chalfont Gearing family, serving from 1876 to 1942: Commander Henry Chalfont Gearing (1855-1926) Served 1879-1909 Captain Henry Chalfont Gearing (1884-1944) Served 1907-1944. Lieutenant Henry Chalfont Gearing (1912-1942. Died in action at battle of Guadalcanal.) Complement-typical: 274 (14 officers, 260 enlisted) Complement-wartime, pre-FRAM: 345 (20 officers, 325 enlisted) Tons Displacement (pre-FRAM): design-3,160 standard-2,425 full load-3,479 Dimensions: 390 ft. 6 in. X 40 ft. 10 in. Mean Draft: 14 ft. 4 in. Fuel capacity: 196,000 gallons Range: 5,800 miles at 15 knots. Propulsion: Four Babcock and Wilcox 615 psi 850 deg.F superheated express type boilers supplying two sets of high pressure, low pressure and cruising turbines generating a total of 60,000 s.h.p. to two shafts each with a 12.5 foot four bladed propeller. Shaft rpm: 350 Speed at standard displacement: 34.5 knots. (For great animations of marine propulsion systems, see this link: Marine Engines and Machinery page of Richard Boggs' Merchant Mariner's Homeport website.) Weapons 1945 to 1962: - three 5 inch 38 caliber twin gun mounts - five 40 millimeter gun mounts - ten 21 inch quintupled torpedo tubes - two depth charge racks of Mk6 and 7 (cylindrical) and later Mk 9 and 14 (teardrop) depth charges Depth charges were removed in the late 40's. Weapons after Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM - I) in 1962: - two 5 inch 38 caliber twin gun mounts guided by a Mk37 director with Mk25 fire control radar linked by a Mk1a electromechanical analog computer stabilized by a Mk6 8,500 rpm gyro. - two triple tubes of 12.75 in. Mk 32 torpedoes - antisubmarine rocket launcher (ASROC), four double celled boxes housing 8 missles, nuclear depth charge capability. - two drone antisubmarine helicopters (DASH) able to deliver two torpedoes up to 30 miles from the ship. Radar, Electronics, Sonar after Fram I: - SPS 10 surface search radar - SPS 40 air search radar - SQS 23 long range sonar Most of the above statistics are from "Sumner-Gearing-Class Destroyers" by Robert F. Sumrall, 1995 Naval Institute Press * Sumrall, Appendix C, Class List.