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Born in Indiana 13 April 1875, Hiram 1. Bearss was appointed a Second Lieutenant, USMC, in 1898. He served in the Philippines, Panama, Cuba, Mexico, Santo Domingo, and France. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his part in the Battle at the Junction of the Cadacan and Sojoton Rivers, Samar, Philippine Islands, 17 November 1901. Colonel Bearss retired 22 November 1919 and was advanced to Brigadier General (retired) in 1936. General Bearss died 26 August 1938.
(DD-654: dp. 2050; 1. 376'5"; b. 39'7"; dr. 17'9"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 329; a. 5 5", 10 21" TT.; cl. -Fletcher)
Bearss (DD-654) was launched 25 July 1943 by Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, Ala.; sponsored by Mrs. Louise Bearss, widow of General Bearss; and commissioned 12 April 1944, Commander J. A. Webster In command.
Bearss reported to the Pacific Fleet and operated in Hawaiian waters during July 1944. On 9 August 1944 she arrived at Adak, Alaska, and served with TF's 92 and 94 in anti-shipping sweeps and bombardments in the Kurile Islands, as well as patrolling in the Sea of Okhotsk until the end of the war. She took part In the bombardments of Matsuwa (21 November 1944, 16 March, and 11-12 June 1945) ; Suribachi Wan (5 January and 19 May 1945) ; Kurabu Wan (18 February 1945) ; and the antishipping sweeps (19 May, 25 June, 17-19, 22 July, and 11 August 1945). Bearss arrived at Ominato, Honshu, 8 September 1945 and patrolled along the southern coast of
Hokkaido until returning to the United States. She arrived at Charleston, S. C., 22 December 1945; went into commission in reserve 12 July 1946; and out of commission in reserve 31 January 1947.
Bearss was recommissioned 7 September 1951 and joined Destroyer Division 322, Destroyer Squadron 32, Atlantic Fleet. She has since served along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean on normal peacetime operations. She has made two Mediterranean cruises and one Par Eastern cruise (April-October 1954) which took her around the world.
Bearss received one battle star for her World War II service.