Display Ship Barry goes to scrapyard

After more than 30 years as the display ship at the Washington Navy Yard and its ineligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, Display Ship Barry was designated for disposal last year.

Now, the ship must be removed before renovation of Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge as current plans call for a fixed-span bridge that would land-lock the ship.

The U.S. Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) is supporting ship preparations and towing of arry from Pier 2 at the Washington Navy Yard (WNY) May 7.

The ship will be towed to the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia to await its dismantling.

“With the arrival this week of the 400-ton crane, the team rigged the primary and emergency tow bridles on the bow of the ship and we removed masts to reduce the ship’s air draft as part of final preparations,” said Jim Ruth, SUPSALV towing subject matter expert.

The ship’s departure coincides with the spring tide and is expected to raise the water level to 3.98 feet above mean high tide. After crossing the shoal at Hains Point and passing through the opened Fredrick Douglass Memorial Bridge, the tow will proceed under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

The remainder of the route includes the transit south on the Potomac to the Chesapeake Bay. Then the ship will travel north, the length of the Chesapeake, to the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal. After exiting the C&D, the tow will proceed up the Delaware River to Philadelphia.

Barry was the third Forrest Sherman-class destroyer built and the fourth vessel to bear the name of the Revolutionary War naval hero, Commodore John Barry. Commissioned Sept. 7, 1956, Barry served 26 years in the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.

The ship supported the 1958 Marine and Army airborne unit landing in Beirut, Lebanon. In 1962, Barry was a member of the task force that quarantined Cuba in response to evidence that Soviet missiles had been installed on the island. The ship was decommissioned Nov. 5, 1982 after 26 years of service.

“As an organization, NAVSEA is uniquely qualified to handle this mission,” said William Boozer, project lead and director, Inactive Ships. “However, moving this historic ship safely and efficiently also required the assistance of Naval District Washington, Naval Support Activity Washington, U.S. Coast Guard, Naval Facilities Command, Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Office Philadelphia, and various NAVSEA Technical Warrant Holders.”