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Charles R. Greer (DE-23)

(DE-23: dp. 1,140; l. 289'5"; b. 35'1"; dr. 8'3"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a. 3 3", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh-), 2 dct.;cl. Evarts)

Charles Rogers Greer, who was born in Turtle Creek, Pa., 10 July 1920, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1938, and as a private first class was on duty in the Philippines at the opening of World War II. He was awarded the Silver Star for his heroism in the defense of Corregidor, and was killed in action 14 April 1942.

Intended for Britain under lend-lease as BDE-23, Charles R. Greer was retained for American use and reclassified DE-23; launched 18 January 1943 by Mare Island Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. E. Greer; and commissioned 25 June 1943, Lieutenant N. C. Sutton, USNR, in command.

Charles R. Greer's assignment in the Pacific Fleet was to the never-ending task of escorting convoys in the intricate meshing of movements demanded by the buildup of Pacific bases. She cleared San Francisco on the first such mission 5 September 1943, bound for Pearl Harbor which was to be her base until October 1944. Her escort duty took her to west coast ports, to Funafuti in the Ellice Islands, and to the Gilberts and Marshalls. Early in December 1943 she formed part of the screen for the transports bringing the garrison force to Abemama in the Gilberts, where an important air base was soon developed. The next month she guarded the movement of the garrison for Majuro.

From October 1944 through February 1945, Charles R. Greer operated guarding convoys from Ulithi to Eni-wetok, Guam, and Pearl Harbor. On 20 November 1944, her group came under attack by a lone enemy aircraft off Ulithi, but the fire of Charles R. Greer and the other escort vessels drove the Japanese plane off. She returned to Pearl Harbor from a west coast overhaul in April 1945, and took up a full schedule of training activities until late June, when she returned to the Marshall Islands for antisubmarine patrols, and convoy escort duty. She left Eniwetok astern 31 August to sail to Wake Island, where on 4 September she took part in the surrender ceremonies, watching as the American flag was raised once more over the outpost so stubbornly defended in the dark early days of the war. She sailed on to Pearl Harbor, where she was decommissioned 2 November 1945 and sold 1 February 1947.

Charles R. Greer received two battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Tue Jun 30 10:11:03 EDT 2015