USS Gearing (DD-710) was the lead ship of her Gearing-class of surface warship destroyers operated by the United States Navy (USN) during, and after, World War 2 (1939-1945). The class originally consisted of 152 total planned vessels though ninety-eight were eventually constructed for the fighting - all ninety-eight being retired with no losses in combat. Some of the class continued operational service into the early Cold War (1947-1991) period with many passed on to American allies during its "Cold War" with the Soviet Union. For her part in U.S. naval history, USS Gearing sailed into the 1970s to which she was eventually given up and sold off for scrapping in November 1974.
As built, USS Gearing was rated at 2,615 tons under standard load and up to 3,450 tons under full load. The vessel measured 390.5 feet long with a beam of 40.9 feet and a draught down to 14.4 feet. Power was from 4 x Boiler units feeding 2 x General Electric steam turbines outputting 60,000 horsepower and driving 2 x Shafts astern. With this propulsion scheme, the warship could make headway in ideal conditions at impressive ocean-going speeds nearing 37 knots while range was out to 4,500 nautical miles.
Gearing's profile saw twin main turrets seated forward of the bridge superstructure with the main mast directly aft. A twin smoke funnel arrangement was seen at midships with a noticeable gap identified between the two stacks. The hull was cut-down towards the stern, providing excellent views over the aft main gun turret. Aboard was a crew of 336 men.
Armament centered on 6 x 5" (130mm) "Dual-Purpose" (DP) main guns, these set in three twin-gunned turrets with two fitted fore and a single emplacement aft (the forward pair being stepped). Beyond this was a network of Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns that included 12 x 40mm Bofors automatic cannons and 11 x 20 Oerlikon automatic cannons. The vessel was also outfitted with 10 x 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes. All told, this gave the warship considerable firepower to act independently or as part of the main fighting fleet.
Gearing was laid down by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company on August 10th, 1944 and launched to sea for trials on February 18th, 1945. Formally commissioned on May 3rd, 1945, the warship arrived late to the fighting of World War 2 (Germany capitulated that month with Japan following in August) but took part in several peacetime voyages throughout the Atlantic and Mediterranean for her time at sea. From 1961 until 1962, she was overhauled and this led to her participation in the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. The "FRAM I" life extension overhaul - addressing the clear and present Soviet submarine threat - followed in 1963 and Gearing operated in Atlantic waters as a submarine hunter into 1967. In 1973, she was officially decommissioned and her name struck from the Naval Register on July 1st, 1973 - leading to her scrapping in 1974.