William Merrill Corry was born 5 October 1889 in Quincy, Fla., graduated from the Naval Academy 3 June 1910, and was designated naval aviator 6 March 1916. He served with distinction in command of the air station at Le Croisic, France, during World War I, and after the war remained in Europe working with the aviation aspects of demobilization. While serving on the staff of Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet, Lieutenant Commander Corry was injured in an airplane crash 3 October 1920. Thrown clear, he plunged into the flaming wreckage to save the plane's pilot. This heroism was recognized with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Corry died of his burns 7 October 1920.
(DD-463: dp. 1,630; l. 348'1"; b. 36'1"; dr. 15'8"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 208; a. 4 5", 5 21" tt.; cl. Bristol)
The second Corry (DD-463) was launched 28 July 1941 by Charleston Navy Yard, sponsored by Miss J. C. Corry; commissioned 18 December 1941, Lieutenant Commander E. C. Burchett in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.
Corry conducted special operations with Radio Washington at Annapolis from 18 to 21 May 1942, then sailed 21 May to escort SS Queen Elizabeth into New York Harbor 22 May. After an escort voyage to Bermuda, she patrolled off Newfoundland between 31 May and 23 June and rejoining her group at Newport 1 July, operated on coastal patrol and escort, voyaging several times to Caribbean ports, until 19 October, when she put in to Bermuda. During this period she picked up survivors of the torpedoed SS Ruty from a life raft off Trinidad.
Corry cleared Bermuda 25 October 1942 for Casablanca to participate in the Moroccan landings in the screen of Ranger (CV-4). She left Casablanca 16 November for Norfolk and Boston, and after overhaul resumed her coastal and Caribbean operations until 13 February 1943, when she sailed on escort duty from Norfolk for north Africa, returning 6 March for operations in the western Atlantic. On 11 August she sailed for Scotland and operated with the British Home Fleet, cruising once to Norway, and twice to Iceland to cover the movement of Russian bound convoys. Returning to Boston 3 December, Corry sailed 24 December for escort duty to New Orleans and Panama.
Similar operations continued until 16 February 1944, when Corry sailed for hunter-killer operations in the Atlantic with TG 21.16, arriving at Casablanca 8 March. She left Casablanca 11 March, and on 16 March joined with Bronstein (DE-189) in attacking the German submarine U-801. When the submarine surfaced, Carry sank her with gunfire, and picked up her 47 survivors. Corry arrived at Boston 30 March for overhaul followed by training.
Corry cleared Norfolk 20 April 1944 for Great Britain, and the staging of the Normandy invasion. She escorted heavy ships and transports across the channel on 6 June, and headed for San Marcouf Island, her station for fire support. At 0633 she hit a mine, which exploded below her engineering spaces, and all power was lost. Within minutes, she had broken amidships and her main deck was under 2 feet of water. The order was given to abandon ship, and her survivors were in the water some 2 hours under constant shelling until rescued by Fitch (DD-462), Hobson (DD-464), Butler (DD-636), and PT-199. Of her crew, 6 were dead, 16 missing, and 33 injured.
Corry received four battle stars for World War II service.