The USS NEWMAN K PERRY’s involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis

The PERRY was on station twice during the crisis once from 24 October 1962 to 22 November 1962, the second was from 3 December 1962 to 21 December 1962.

According to Phillip Miceli, he was home on leave from the USS FISKE (DDR-842) when his leave was cancelled and he was ordered to the PERRY.  He boarded the PERRY at sea while PERRY was en route to intercept the Russian freighters.  He was assigned as Helmsman, which kept him on the bridge during the times that PERRY stopped freighters.

Mr. Miceli told me that they stopped one ship that was on the way to Cuba on the 26th of October, (believed to be a Swedish freighter named Coolangotta) it was carrying nuclear high-grade ore, and the ship was turned back. 

Information below is from the Naval Historical Center Website and is referring to the inspection of ships leaving Cuba removing the Missiles.  I am copying it from their website.

Thursday, 8 November

At 1414R, Rear Admiral Hogle at CINCLANTFLT reported that the Volgoles had been sighted by a P2V at - Her deck cargo was covered and the ship would not uncover after being asked by voice and flashing light to do so. Saufley was en route to intercept her, estimating the scene at 1700Q. The P2V was staying on top while the destroyer arrived. The pilot reported the Volgoles deck cargo as six vehicles forward and three aft, and two tube shapes forward and five aft, estimated size 8 x 6 x 55 feet.

Perry made first contact with Volgoles at 1530R and requested that she uncover the missiles, but the ship refused. Communication was made by voice on 500KC, flashing light, loud hailer, and placards.

The message sent was, "Show me your missiles, please. I must see them." The reply was, "I cannot show U.S."

All of the information surrounding the incident was forwarded to Admiral Wellborn at the United Nations, so the U. S. negotiators could protest this lack of cooperation to Kuznetzov at a 1700R meeting.

The decision was made that Perry and Vesole would trail the Volgoles through the night and try again in the morning to get the Russians to uncover the missiles. Admiral Anderson did not recommend forceful action to get the Volgoles or any other ship to uncover under the existing "ground rules."

Mr. Gilpatric directed that in the morning and in all other intercepts the message to intercepted ships would be: "Your government has agreed to uncover missiles. Please do so."

When it became obvious that the Russian ships were not going to follow the guidelines for rendezvousing with our patrol forces, Admiral Anderson passed the order to CINCLANT, "Don't wait -- go find them.

Friday, 9 November

After Vesole hailed Volgoles at first light, the formerly reluctant ship complied with a request to roll back the canvas covering a missile.

Monday, 12 November

At 1525R, CINCLANT reported that the master of [deleted] freighter [deleted] requested that the destroyer Perry send an intelligence officer to his ship. The commanding officer of Perry replied that he could not comply unless he received a request for a boarding party. The freighter's master then officially requested the boarding party, which was dispatched and headed by the Perry's commanding officer.   (The CO was CDR. W. L. Sheppard, USN  July 28, 1961 - September 26, 1963)

After departing the freighter, the commanding officer was flown to Key West for a debriefing. He said the [deleted] master had offered his services [deleted] collecting any information which the U.S. might want.

While Perry was in the vicinity of Trajan, two MIG's buzzed the ships at an altitude of about 300 feet and then headed for Cuba.


Newman K. Perry (DDR 883), 24 Oct - 22 Nov 62; 3-21 Dec 62.