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-840: dp. 2,425: l. 390'6"; b. 41'1"; dr. 18'6"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 367; a. 6 5"; cl. Gearing.)
The second Glennon (DD-840) was launched 14 July 1945 by the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine; sponsored by Miss Frances Reading Glennon, granddaughter; and commissioned 4 October 1945, Comdr. George W. Pressey in command.
After shakedown off Cuba, Glennon sailed from Boston 12 February 1946 for Europe and visited many of the nations washed by the North Sea before returning to New-York in August of the same year. Undergoing upkeep at Boston and overhaul at Newport, Glennon conducted refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay during April and May 1947. For the next 12 months she engaged in a rigorous schedule of tactics along the New England coast and down the eastern seaboard to ports of Florida. In February and March 1948 she took part in combat fleet exercises and maneuvers in waters ranging from Cuba to Trinidad and the Panama Canal.
Sailing from Norfolk in June 1948, Glennon served with the Midshipman Practice Squadron and made calls at Portugal, Italy, and French Morocco. She joined the 6th Fleet in August 1948 for Mediterranean duty, returning stateside in January 1949 for overhaul at Boston. In the winter of 1949-50 she was part of Operation "Frostbite," a cold weather exercise near the Davis Strait, subsequently to sail from Newport 4 January 1950 for another "Med" cruise.
Upon return to the United States, she made a series of reserve training cruises along the eastern, seaboard and engaged in type training along the New England coast and into the Caribbean Sea. Underway from Newport 8 January 1951, she embarked on another "Med" cruise, returning to Boston in May for overhaul followed by refresher training out of Cuba.
Glennon spent January and February 1952 with a carrier task force conducting cold weather training in waters ranging northward to the Davis Straits. From April to October she was flagship of Destroyer Squadron 8, and stood out in June for the Mediterranean, returning to Annapolis in September 1952. For more than a decade the destroyer continued her already established peacetime operation pattern. Highlights of this exacting duty included participation as a recovery station ship in the 1961 and 1962 Project Mercury flights, and in the search for the lost nuclear powered submarine Thresher. In August 1961 Glennon was called away suddenly to join the task force for the Project Mercury space shot carrying Major Grissom. In early 1962 she was again chosen to man an Atlantic recovery station for the historic three orbit flight of Maj. John Glenn. An extensive overhaul at Boston terminated 24 July 1963, and through the remainder of that year Glennon trained in the Caribbean, acted as school ship for the Antisubmarine Warfare School at Key West, Fla., and put in at Boston in November for refitting. The years 1964 and 1965 found Glennon continuing her ASW work. In September 1964 she was chosen to carry guests to the America's Cup Races. Later in May 1965 she conducted exercises called "Mule 65" in which U.S. Army cadets from West Point were given shipboard indoctrination. Through 1967 Glennon continued to operate with the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.