Korean War Legacy Project

Richard Perkins


Richard Perkins was born around 1929 in Davy, West Virginia. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1943 at the age of seventeen and received basic training in Norfolk, Virginia. After training, he was assigned to the USS Dearborn (PF-33) during WWII. After the war, he reenlisted in the Navy in 1946 and was assigned to the USS Capricornus (AKA-57). In 1947, he transferred to the crew of the Navy destroyer, USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697). In September 1950, the Charles S. Sperry was deployed to Korea. Perkins served as a Petty Officer in charge of relaying firing orders on targets off the east coast of Korea. His ship rotated back to the US in June of 1951, receiving 4 battle stars for its service in Korea. Today, aside from spending time with his large family, he enjoys attending veteran reunions.

Video Clips

Direct Hit

Richard Perkins recalls in late 1950, off the east coast of Korea, when the destroyer he crewed, the USS Charles S. Sperry took three direct hits from enemy shore batteries. He describes where the ship was hit and what happened after the incident.

Tags: Fear,Front lines,North Koreans,Physical destruction

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Downed Pilot

Richard Perkins describes retrieving a downed Navy pilot from the sea after his parachute had not deployed. Unfortunately, the pilot did not survive.

Tags: Fear,Front lines

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Duty off the Coast of Korea

Richard Perkins describes the mission of the Navy destroyer, USS Charles S. Sperry during the Korean War. He talks about all-night firing missions aimed at Chinese beach patrols on the east coast of Korea. He mentions the ship encountering refugees and giving aid in the form of food and supplies.

Tags: Chinese,Front lines,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Poverty

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