James Henry Glennon, born 11 February 1857 at French Gulch, Calif., was appointed a cadet midshipman on 24 September 1874. He served as a midshipman in Lackawanna, Alaska and Pensacola, and later as an officer in Ranger (1881-85) and Constellation (1885-88). He commanded a forward gun turret in Massachusetts when that battleship on 4 July 1898 joined Texas in sinking the Reina Mercedes. While executive officer and navigator in Vicksburg, he participated in the actions against the Philippine Insurgents. During 1912 to 1913 he was President of the Board of Naval Ordnance and of the Joint Army-Navy Board on Smokeless Powder.
He served as Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard and Superintendent of the Naval Gun Factory from 1915 to early 1917 when he was appointed the Navy Department representative in a special mission under Elihu Root sent to Russia. At the risk of his life, he persuaded mutinous Russian sailors who had taken over command of Russian ships-of-war in waters of Sevastapol, to restore authority to the officers of the men-of-war. After completing the mission to Russia, he took command of Battleship Division 5 with his flag in battleship Connecticut. He was awarded the Navy Cross for meritorious service in this command, including the instruction of midshipmen and thousands of recruits for duty as armed guard crews of merchant ships. Detached from this duty on 17 September 1918, he became Commandant of the 13th Naval District until 3 January 1919, then was Commandant of the 3d Naval District at New York. Having reached the statutory age for retirement, he was transferred to the Retired List on 1 February 1921. Rear Admiral James Henry Glennon died at Washington, D.C., 29 May 1940.
(DD-620: dp. 1,620; l. 348'4"; b. 36'1"; dr. 17'4"; s. 37.5 k.; cpl. 270; a. 4 5", 2 40mm., 5 20mm., 5 21" tt, 6 dcp., 2det.; cl. Gleaves)
The first Glennon (DD-620) was launched 26 August 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J.; sponsored by Miss Jeanne Lejeune Glennon, granddaughter; and commissioned 8 October 1942, Lt. Comdr. Floyd C. Camp in command.
After shakedown training along the New England coast, Glennon guarded troops and supply convoys for the occupation of Sicily (9-15 July 1943). It was here that the giant assault on Europe began sweeping in from the sea. She returned to New York on 3 December 1943, then made two round-trip convoy escort voyages to the British Isles and one to Gibraltar. She arrived in New York from Gibraltar on 22 April 1944 and stood out of that port 5 May with a task group which arrived Belfast, Ireland, on the 14th. Assigned to Assault Force "U" of the Western Naval Task Force, she arrived in the Baie de la Seine, France, on 6 June. After patrolling around the bombardment group for submarines and fast German torpedo boats, she joined in gunfire support of troops ashore.
On 7 June she hurled in 430 5-inch shells ashore in support of troops advancing north toward Quineville. Under command of Comdr. Clifford A. Johnson, she was again approaching her gunfire support station at 0830, 8 June, when her stern struck a mine. A whaleboat picked up survivors while minesweepers Staff and Threat arrived on the scene, one passing a towline while the other swept ahead of the damaged destroyer. Destroyer escort Rich closed in the wake of the minesweepers to assist, then felt a heavy explosion as she slowly rounded Glennon's stern to clear the area. Minutes later a second explosion blew off a 50-foot section of Rich's stern, followed by a third mine explosion under her forecastle. She went under within 15 minutes of the first explosion.
Minesweeper Staff found she could not budge Glennon whose fantail seemed to be firmly anchored to the bottom by her starboard propeller. Most of her crew boarded Staff and those remaining on Glennon lightened her stern by pumping fuel forward and jettisoning depth charges and topside gear. On 9 June salvage equipment was assembled ; and some 60 officers and men of the Glennon came back on board. The following morning, just as Comdr. Johnson was preparing to resume efforts to save his ship, a German battery near Quinneville found her range. A second salvo hit Glennon amidships and cut off all power. After a third hit, Commander Johnson ordered abandon ship and the men were taken off in a landing craft. Glennon floated until 2145, 10 June 1944; then rolled over and sank. She suffered 25 lost and 38 wounded.
Glennon was awarded two battle stars for services in World War II.