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Remey

 

George C. Remey, born at Burlington, Iowa, 10 August 1841, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1859. Initially assigned to Hartford on the Asiatic Station, he returned to the United States with the outbreak of the Civil War and served in Marblehead during the Peninsular Campaign, March-July 1862; and, afterward, in the blockade of Charleston. In April 1863 he assumed duties as Executive Officer in Canandaigua and during attacks on Fort Wagner briefly commanded Marblehead. From 23 August to 7 September, he commanded a battery of naval guns on Morris Island, and on the night of 7-8 September led the second division of a boat attack on Fort Sumter. The division made shore, but was smashed by gunfire. Remey and the surviving members of his party were forced to surrender. Following 13 months of imprisonment at Columbia, S.C., Remey was exchanged and returned to duty, serving in DeSoto until the end of the war. In 1866 he saw service off the west coast of South America and in 1870-71 participated in the Tehuantepec Survey Expedition. After commanding Enterprise and service in the Mediterranean, he was appointed captain, 1885, and 4 years later assumed command of Charleston, flagship of the Pacific Squadron. Commandant of the Portsmouth Navy Yard at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he was ordered to take charge of the Naval Base at Key West, whence he directed the supply and repair of all naval forces in Cuban waters and organized supply lines to Army forces in Cuba. After peace returned, Rear Admiral Remey resumed duties at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. In April 1900, he assumed command of the Asiatic Station and for the next 2 years guided the ships of that station through the diplomatic and military chaos that was China. He then returned to the United States and served for a year as Chairman of the Lighthouse Board before retiring 10 August 1903. Rear Admiral Remey died at Washington, D.C., 10 February 1928.

 

(DD - 688: displacement 2,050; length 376’6”; beam 39’8”; draft 17’9”; speed 37 knots; complement 319; armament 5 5”, 10 40mm., 7 20mm., 10 21” torpedo tubes, 6 depth charge projectors, 2 depth charge tracks; class Fletcher)

 

Remey (DD-688) was laid down 22 March 1943 by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; launched 25 July 1943; sponsored by Miss Angelica G. Remey, daughter of Rear Admiral Remey; and commissioned 30 September 1943, Lt. Comdr. Reid P. Fiala in command.

 

Remey, flagship of DesRon 54, departed Boston 5 December 1943 and headed for the Pacific. Escorting heavier ships en route, she transited the Panama Canal at mid-month and arrived at San Diego to report for duty in the 5th Amphibious Force on the 20th. Training with the 4th Marines followed; and, on 13 January 1944, she sailed west, screening TF 53, the Northern Attack Force for the invasion of the Marshalls. From 29 January, when Wotje was bombarded, until 5 February, when Remey struck an uncharted reef, she screened the transports and CarDiv 22 and provided gunfire support for the troops fighting for Kwajalein. On the 6th, she got underway for Majuro, thence proceeded to Pearl Harbor for repairs.

 

Following repairs, Remey completed an escort run to San Francisco and back, then screened Bataan (CVL-29) to Majuro. There, from 9 to 29 April, she escorted submarines in and out of the area. Returning to Pearl Harbor 4 May, she escorted carriers on exercises in Hawaiian waters and on the 31st got underway for the Marianas. Stopping en route at Kwajalein, she arrived off Saipan on 14 June and with Fire Support Unit I commenced firing on the island. Closing to 4,000 yards, Remey was straddled by shore battery fire, but her return fire destroyed two of the offending batteries. The next morning, while screening Tennessee (BB-43) off Tinian, she destroyed three more guns. In the afternoon she shelled Saipan and throughout that day and the next continued counterbattery fire. On the 17th she provided gunfire support for the troops on Saipan, then on the 18th returned to the battleships and remained with them through the aerial attacks of the Battle of the Philippine Sea. On the 22d, she resumed shore bombardment duties and shelled enemy troop concentrations and supply dumps. Through June and July she remained in the area - continuing her support for operations on Saipan and extending it to ground forces fighting on Tinian after 24 July.

 

On 8 August the destroyer got underway for the Marshalls, thence steamed to the Solomons where TF 32 rehearsed for the assult [sic; assault] on the Palaus. A month later she sailed for those islands. Arriving on the 15th, she bombarded Babelthuap, then on the 16th and 17th showered her shells on Anguar [sic; Angaur]. On the 23d she sailed south and on the 27th anchored in Seeadler Harbor to prepare for the invasion of the Philippines.

 

Departing for Leyte 11 October, Remey passed the northern tip of Dinagat Island on the night of 19-20 October. In the morning, she screened her charges, landing craft, to the assault area, then took up station in lower Surigao Strait. Through the 24th, she continued her anti-small boat and antiaircraft patrols, then prepared to meet an enemy surface force reported standing toward the southern entrance to Surigao Strait.

 

Rear Admiral Oldendorf deployed his force - cruisers, battleships, and destroyers - for what was to be the last engagement of a battleline. Captain Coward, ComDesRon 54, divided his squadron into eastern and western groups to launch torpedo attacks against the Japanese as they steamed through the Strait toward defeat under the guns of the battleline.

 

Reports from the PTs shadowing the Japanese were slow in coming, but at 0211 on the 25th, Remey, leading the eastern attack unit, moved south. McGowan (DD-678) and Melvin (DD-680) followed in attack disposition. At about 0235 radar contact was established. The attackers, despite navigational difficulties, began to close on their targets. Just before 0300, Remey was illuminated briefly by an enemy searchlight. At 0300 the three destroyers of the eastern group fired their torpedoes, launching 27 "fish" in less than 2 minutes. Powder flashes on two of her torpedoes showed Remey’s position and again she was spotlighted. Straddled by 6" shells she commenced making more smoke and weaving through it to make her way back up the Dinagat coast to the post-attack rendezvous point off Hibuson Island, whence the force witnessed the battleline's barrage.

 

The next day Remey retired from Leyte Gulf. On the 30th she anchored in Humboldt Bay. During November she escorted reinforcements to Leyte and in December she joined CarDiv 22 for operations in the Sulu Sea in support of the landings on Mindoro. Back in the New Guinea-Admiralties area at the end of the month, she departed Manus 2 January 1945 and on the 11th arrived off Luzon with reinforcements for the assault forces landed on the Lingayen beaches 2 days earlier. She departed on the 15th and 8 days later arrived at Ulithi where she joined the fast carriers of TF 58.

 

On 10 February, she sortied with TG 58.5 and, steaming north, screened that group as its planes flew night fighter cover for the task force and conducted night harassment strikes against the enemy in the Tokyo area and then over Iwo Jima. Remey supported operations in the Volcano and Bonin Islands until 9 March, then got underway for Ulithi and a 2-day rest. On the 14th she screened the sortie of TG 58.4, then sailed with that group as it struck enemy installations, shipping and troop concentrations on and around Kyushu and the Ryukyus. On the 1st of April, the group covered the assault on Okinawa's Hagushi beaches, then remained in the area until 11 May as ground forces pushed across Japan's last bastion protecting her home islands. Replenished at Ulithi, the ships, now designated TG 38.4, were back off Okinawa before the end of the month. On 8 June, Remey joined TG 30.4 for the bombardment of Okino Daito, returned to TG 38.4 the next day, and retired to Leyte on the 11th.

 

By 1 July the carriers were again ready to strike at the Japanese home islands. On the 10th sorties were flown against Tokyo and, on the 13th and 14th, against northern Honshu and Hokkaido. On the night of the 14th-15th, Remey participated in the bombardment of Muroran. On the 16th, she screened the carriers as further strikes were launched against Honshu, then returned to the bombardment group as it shelled Hitachi. On the 18th, she rejoined TG 38.4, then shifted to TG 38.3 for screening duties as planes were sent against Shikoku and Kyushu, concentrating on Kobe, 20th-22d. Further strikes against the southern islands followed; but, by the 30th, the Tokyo and Nagoya areas were again the targets. Weather conditions, including a typhoon, delayed further offensive action until 9 August when Honshu was again hit.

 

Detached the following day, Remey, with others of her squadron, proceeded to the Kuriles where she joined TF 92 in an anti-shipping sweep in the Sea of Okhotsk on the 11th, then headed for Adak en route to a shipyard overhaul on the west coast. At Adak on the 14th, she received word of the Japanese surrender and orders to rejoin TF 92 for occupation duty in the Ominato area. Departing the Aleutians at the end of August, she remained in Japanese waters until 15 September when she got underway for San Francisco and inactivation.

 

Arriving 1 October, she shifted to San Diego in December. In commission, in reserve from January, Remey decommissioned 10 December 1946 and was berthed at San Diego until ordered activated with the outbreak of hostilities in Korea.

 

Recommissioned 14 November 1951, Remey departed the west coast 15 February 1952 and on the 28th reported for duty with the Atlantic Fleet. Homeported at Newport, she added strength to the 2d Fleet as that fleet sent destroyers to the Far East to support U.N. Forces in Korea. For the next year and a half, Remey operated in the western Atlantic and in the Caribbean. Then, in the fall (September-November) of 1953, deployed briefly to European waters for joint operations with the Royal Navy followed by 6th Fleet exercises in the Mediterranean. Six months after her return to Newport, she sailed for the western Pacific and summer operations with the 7th Fleet. Between June and September, she ranged from Korea and Japan to the Philippines and departed the latter for Suez 24 September, completing her round-the-world cruise 28 November.

 

Remey remained in the western Atlantic through 1955 and, in the spring of 1956, as tension in the eastern Mediterranean from Cyprus to Suez, again heightened, rejoined the 6th Fleet. Between 31 March and 12 May, as British troops prepared to withdraw from Suez, she cruised the Red Sea-Persian Gulf areas. Then, at the end of the month, the destroyer returned to Newport for 5 months of type training and ASW evaluation exercises. In July, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. By the end of the month, financial retaliations had been imposed by western Europe. Despite various peace plans proposed in August and September, war broke out in late October. To the north, civil unrest continued in Cyprus, flared in Poland, and flamed through Hungary. On 6 November Remey steamed back to the Mediterranean to assume patrol duties which continued until after Israeli forces withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula in late January 1957.

 

Through the spring of 1958, Remey remained on the east coast. During the summer, she conducted exercises in the North Atlantic and the North Sea. Returning in August, she participated in further ASW evaluation tests, then, in October, assumed duties as schoolship for the Destroyer Force's Afloat Engineering School.

 

Detached at the end of the year, Remey shifted her homeport to New York City and commenced duty as flagship of Reserve Escort Squadron 2 (later, Reserve Destroyer Squadron 2). A unit of the Selected Reserve antisubmarine program, her crew was recalled to active duty and she rejoined the active fleet, assigned to DesDiv 201, after the closing of the East and West Berlin border in mid-August 1961. During December of that year and January of 1962, she cruised in the North Sea, returning to Newport in February and resuming reserve training duties at New York in August. In September 1963, she steamed to Philadelphia where she decommissioned 30 December 1963 and was berthed as a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She remains a unit of that fleet, at Philadelphia, into 1974.

 

Remey earned 10 battle stars during World War II.



23 September 2005