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Glennon I (DD-620)

1942–1944

James Henry Glennon, born on 11 February 1857 at French Gulch, Calif., was appointed a cadet midshipman on 24 September 1874. After completing four years of coursework at the Naval Academy, he served as a midshipman in the Screw Sloops-of-War Lackawanna (1878-79) and Alaska (1879), the Screw Steamer Pensacola (1879-80) and later as an officer in the Screw Steamer Ranger (1881-85) and the Sloop-of-War Constellation (1885-88). Glennon commanded a forward gun turret in Massachusetts (BB-2) when on 4 July 1898 she joined Texas in sinking the Reina Mercedes in the Battle of Santiago. While serving as executive officer and navigator in Vicksburg (Gunboat No. 11), he participated in actions against the Philippine Insurgents. From 1912 to 1913, he was President of the Board of Naval Ordnance and of the Joint Army-Navy Board on Smokeless Powder.

Glennon served as Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard and Superintendent of the Naval Gun Factory from 1915 to early 1917 when he was assigned as the Navy Department representative in a special mission to Russia under former Secretary of State Elihu Root. At the risk of his life, Glennon persuaded mutinous Russian sailors, who had commandeered ships-of-war in waters off Sevastopol, to restore authority to their officers. Upon completion of the mission to Russia, he took command of Battleship Division 5 with his flag in Connecticut (Battleship No. 18). Glennon was awarded the Navy Cross for meritorious service in this command, which included the instruction of midshipmen and thousands of recruits for duty as armed guard crews for merchant ships. On 17 September 1918, Glennon became Commandant of the Thirteenth Naval District and served in this position until 3 January 1919, when he reported for duty as Commandant of the Third Naval District at New York. Having reached the statutory age for retirement, Glennon transferred to the Retired List on 1 February 1921. Rear Admiral James Henry Glennon died at Washington, D.C., on 29 May 1940.

I

(DD-620: displacement 1,620; length 348'4"; beam 36'1"; draft 17'4"; speed 37.5 knots; complement 270; armament 4 5-inch, 2 40-millimeter, 5 20-millimeter, 5 21-inch torpedo tubes; 6 depth charge projectors, 2 depth charge tracks; class Gleaves)

The first Glennon (DD-620) was laid down on 25 March 1942, at Kearny, N.J. by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.; launched on 26 August 1942; and sponsored by Miss Jeanne Lejeune Glennon, granddaughter of Rear Adm. James Henry Glennon.


Miss Jeanne Lejeune Glennon (L), holds a bottle of Great Western Reserve Champagne, preparing to christen the ship named for her late grandfather, while Capt. James B. Glennon, her father, looks on (R), 26 August 1942. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-34724, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Miss Jeanne Lejeune Glennon (L), holds a bottle of Great Western Reserve Champagne, preparing to christen the ship named for her late grandfather, while Capt. James B. Glennon, her father, looks on (R), 26 August 1942. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-34724, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)


Glennon on her delivery trip to New York Navy Yard, 7 October 1942, where she will be placed in commission the following day. Note at this point she has not yet been fitted with either fire control or search radar. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-35911, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Glennon on her delivery trip to New York Navy Yard, 7 October 1942, where she will be placed in commission the following day. Note at this point she has not yet been fitted with either fire control or search radar. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-35911, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Commissioned on 8 October 1942 at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y., Lt. Cmdr. Floyd C. Camp in command, Glennon fitted out there for the next fortnight. She then steamed to Fort Lafayette, N.Y., on 22 October 1942, to onload ammunition before proceeding on to Bayonne, N.J., where she was depermed (a procedure to reduce the magnetic signature of a ship’s hull).


Glennon at New York, 22 October 1942, after fitting out at the New York Navy Yard. She has had fire control radar fitted atop her Mk. 37 director. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-36820, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Glennon at New York, 22 October 1942, after fitting out at the New York Navy Yard. She has had fire control radar fitted atop her Mk. 37 director. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-36820, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

The following day [23 October 1942], Glennon stood in to Long Island Sound, to undergo two days of sea trials and calibrations and then transited to Hammerhead Pier, New York Navy Yard, on 25 October for repairs. Two days later, the destroyer got underway for Casco Bay, Maine, to conduct various maneuvers and drills. Her training period was briefly interrupted on 12 November, however, when she received orders from the Senior Officer Present Afloat (SOPA), Casco Bay, to locate and destroy a German U-boat last reported at 45°30' N, 68°30' W (1104 G.C.T.). At 1717, she made contact with the submarine using underwater sound, echo ranging at 43°28' N, 68°33'W. While closing in on the enemy vessel, however, Glennon abruptly lost contact at 600 yards. The destroyer continued to pursue the U-boat, but failed to make further contact, and on 13 November, she received orders to return to Casco Bay to resume training operations.

On 28 November 1942, Glennon weighed anchor at Casco Bay and sailed for the New York Navy Yard to undergo repairs before steaming to Norfolk, Va., on 6 December. In accordance with Secret Operations Plan 3-42, she got underway on 11 December and joined Roe (DD-418) and Butler (DD-636) to escort an oiler convoy made up of Chemung (AO-30), Housatonic (AO-35), Pecos (AO-65), Kennebec (AO-36), and Cache (AO-67) to Galveston, Texas.

While steaming to Galveston on 16 December 1942, Glennon detected a sound suspected to be caused by the propellers of an enemy submarine and left the convoy to carry out offensive action. She dropped several depth charges, but all failed to detonate because their fuse setting exceeded 20 fathoms. At 2115, she made contact with the vessel at Latitude 28° 35' N; Longitude 93° 32' W (near Galveston) and dropped more depth charges with settings of 100 feet and 50 feet. All detonated and brought oil to the surface, but Glennon found no other traces of the submarine.

The convoy arrived at Galveston on 17 December 1942, and Glennon anchored overnight to refuel and onload ammunition before getting underway again on the following day to escort the oilers to Hampton Roads, Va. After an uneventful voyage, the convoy stood in to Hampton Roads on 24 December where Glennon moored for the remainder of the year.

On 4 January 1943, Glennon weighed anchor and joined Gherardi (DD-637) and Maddox (DD-622) to escort an oiler convoy comprising Salamonie (AO-26) (the convoy’s flagship), Chemung, Pecos, and Cache to Texas ports. In accordance with orders given by the convoy commander on 9 January, Glennon, Chemung, and Pecos steamed for Port Arthur, Texas. At 1030 that morning, Glennon detached and transited independently to Galveston where she moored overnight before getting underway the following morning, 11 January, and rendezvousing with Chemung and Pecos, six miles off the Sabine Bank Light, near the mouth of the Sabine River. The three ships then set a course for Norfolk, joining Maddox, Gherardi, Salamonie, and Cache en route.

During the afternoon of 16 January 1943, while steaming north along off the eastern seaboard, the convoy commander ordered Glennon and Maddox to proceed immediately to Area Hypo, Hampton Roads, Va. The destroyers arrived at Hampton Roads the following morning, 17 January, and anchored in Area Hypo before shifting to Pier 5, Berth 56, at the Naval Operating Base (NOB), Norfolk. Weighing anchor on 21 January, Glennon rendevoused with Maddox and Merrimack (AO-37) before joining Salamonie and Chemung and sailing for Galveston, arriving five days later (26 January).

Departing Galveston on the morning of 31 January 1943, Glennon joined Maddox and Nelson (DD-623) and charted a southerly course for St. Nicholas Bay, Aruba, Netherlands West Indies. On 3 February, while en route to Aruba, one of Glennon’s firerooms lost oil suction and she broke the five flag. In response, Maddox and Nelson closed and circled the destroyer at 10 knots while her crew assessed the cause and extent of the problem. After correcting a mechanical issue in short order, Glennon proceeded with the convoy for St. Nicholas Bay and steamed in to port that evening.

Glennon stood out from St. Nicholas Bay on 5 February 1943, in company with Maddox and Nelson, formed a screen for the tankers America Sun, Cherry Valley, Esso Norfolk, and Esso Washington, and sailed for the Gulf of Paria, Trinidad, British West Indies. The ships put to sea again on 9 February and charted a course for Dakar, French West Africa, arriving on 18 February, after an uneventful transatlantic voyage. Just under one week later, on 24 February, Glennon rendezvoused with Nelson and Maddox and got underway to escort U.S. tankers America Sun, Cherry Valley, Esso Norfolk and Esso Washington back to Trinidad.

On 4 March 1943, Glennon, Nelson, and Maddox escorted the tankers in to the Gulf of Paria. Following a two-day port call, the convoy proceeded on to Aruba on 6 March to make a brief stop before sailing north through the Mona passage between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, en route to NOB Norfolk, arriving on 9 March.

Glennon rendezvoused with Maddox, Nelson, and South Dakota (BB-57) on 10 March 1943, and sailed for Casco Bay to conduct exercises. She then joined Nelson and Hamul (AD-20) on 16 March and steamed south to New York. The next day, Glennon and Nelson broke from Hamul and sailed for the New York Navy Yard.

Following an upkeep period for repairs and alterations (18 March–4 April 1943), Glennon shifted to lower New York Harbor off Sandy Hook, N.J. on 5 April, where she joined Commander, Task Group (CTG) 68.1. The convoy, under Commander, Destroyer Squadron (ComDesRon) 17 (embarked in Nelson), comprised the destroyers Butler (DD-636), Maddox, and Herndon (DD-638), minesweepers Seer (AM-112) and Sentinel (AM-113), submarine chasers PC-543, PC-546, and PC-562, the oiler Kaweah (AO-15), and 25 tank landing ships (LSTs). The following day, 6 April, Glennon got underway for Port Royal Bay in company with CTG-68.1, and arrived on 9 April without incident.

While at Bermuda, Glennon took up an escort position in UGL-2, a large convoy of U.S. and British naval vessels. Directed by the CTG-68.1 SOPA, embarked on board Kaweah, UGL-2 departed Bermuda on 13 April 1943, organized into 14 columns, and set a course for French North Africa. In accordance with a dispatch from ComDesRon 17, on 29 April, three LSTs, an LCI group, and PC-543 detached from UGL-2 and proceeded with Seer to Port Lyautey, French Morocco [Kentira, Morocco]. Seer rejoined the convoy later that day.

Glennon transited the Strait of Gibraltar with UGL-2 on the morning of 30 April 1943 and anchored in Gibraltar harbor that afternoon. Getting underway again the next day, the destroyer joined Task Force (TF) 68, and proceeded to Casablanca, French Morocco. After mooring overnight, she departed Casablanca with TF 68 on 3 May, and sailed for New York Navy Yard, arriving on 14 May. Glennon shifted to Fort Lafayette on the morning of 25 May to take on ammunition and then transited to Bayonne that afternoon to undergo deperming before getting underway for Norfolk.


Underway at sea, 26 May 1943, still wearing two-color camouflage, the dividing line parallel with the horizon and not the sheer of the ship. Note centerline 20-millimeter mount fitted ahead of, and at the same level of, the bridge. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-68127, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Underway at sea, 26 May 1943, still wearing two-color camouflage, the dividing line parallel with the horizon and not the sheer of the ship. Note centerline 20-millimeter mount fitted ahead of, and at the same level of, the bridge. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-68127, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

On 28 May 1943, Glennon steamed to Bloodsworth Island, Md. to conduct gunnery exercises. She then moored at Point No Point Light, several miles north of the mouth of the Potomac River in the Chesapeake Bay, before returning to Bloodsworth Island that evening (28 May) to carry out night shore bombardment practice. In the early morning hours of 29 May, the destroyer shifted back to Point No Point Light to anchor briefly en route to Norfolk where she onloaded ammunition. She got underway again on 30 May to conduct another round of gunnery exercises and moored overnight at Windmill Point, Va., before returning to Norfolk the following day.

Glennon stood out of Norfolk on 2 June 1943, assumed a position in a column astern of Nelson, and proceeded in the following formation: Nelson, Glennon, Jeffers (DD-621), Butler, Gherardi, Maddox, Herndon, and Shubrick (DD-639). The column executed course and speed changes by flag hoist and low frequency voice radio (TBS) calls, formed an anti-submarine screen, steamed at different courses and speeds to maintain the screen, and conducted various firing drills, before returning to Norfolk. Three days later, on 5 June, Glennon steamed north and anchored overnight in the vicinity of Old Plantation Flats near Cape Charles Va., before shifting to a berth in Lynnhaven Roads, Va., the next morning.

While at Lynnhaven Roads, she sortied with TF 65 and joined a screen to escort convoy UFG-9 across the Atlantic to North African ports. On 8 June 1943, the task force stood down the swept channel and charted a course for Mers El Kébir, Oran, French Algeria. On 15 June, en route to Algeria, at least five ships in the task force reported contact with enemy submarines and dropped depth charges. Three days later, Glennon intercepted radio transmissions believed to be German U-boat contact and beacon signals and passed the intelligence to light cruiser Boise (CL-47). On 19 June, the task force passed the Rock of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean Sea. Early the next morning, the first ships of the task force cleared the swept channel in to the harbor of Mers El Kébir.

On 21 June 1943, Glennon transited with Nelson to the port of Algiers, French Algeria, then got underway on 23 June to search for a German U-boat reported to have sunk an Allied LST in the vicinity. Later that evening, after failing to locate the enemy, she assumed a screening position with TF 81 in a column formation guided by Savannah (CL-42). Glennon left the column at 0015 on 24 June and took station in an antisubmarine and antiaircraft screen. Joining Destroyer Division (DesDiv) 33, she practiced screening transport vessels in preparation for the Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky. At 0220, lookouts began reporting red flares in the direction of the rehearsal landing beaches at Sidi Fredj, French Algeria, to the west of Algiers. Landing barges commenced reaching the beaches at 0245 in accordance with the scheduled exercises. At 1137, Glennon joined a screening column to escort a transport group back to Algiers. Led by Murphy (DD-603), the screen included Maddox, Nelson, Joseph T. Dickman (APA-13), Dallas (DD-199), and Bernadou (DD-153). The transport group consisted of Barnett (APA-5), escort ship Chase (DE-158), Thurston (AP-77), Stanton (DE-247), and Betelgeuse (AKA-11). Glennon proceeded in to the port of Algiers astern of Murphy at 1303 and anchored outside the south entrance, where she refueled.

The destroyer got underway on 27 June 1943 to conduct antisubmarine patrol in Algiers harbor. At 2025 that evening, she put to sea to screen and assist a tanker that had been torpedoed west of Algiers (36°53 N, 01°55 E). Glennon approached the oil slick left by the tanker, identified as RFA Abbeydale (A109), at 2245, and screened the stricken vessel at a distance of about one mile, while circling in a clockwise direction. The British tug Salvatore arrived on the scene the following morning (28 June) to take the tanker in tow and Glennon returned to Algiers that afternoon.

She stood out from Algiers on 6 July 1943, formed a column with Nelson, Bernadou, McLanahan (DD-615), and Shubrick (DD-639), and got underway to take part in Operation Husky. Detached from the column that afternoon, Glennon screened Maddox and the cruisers Boise, Savannah, and Philadelphia (CL-41) before taking her assigned position in a troop transport screen in company with TF 81 en route to the Dime Assault Area off Gela, Sicily.

Boise and Savannah joined the convoy on the morning of 9 July 1943, and assumed their assigned stations. That evening, at 1845, the convoy passed Gozo Island, Malta, and began assembling into an approach formation under the tactical command of Savannah before proceeding to the Dime Assault Area. At 2255, Glennon’s crew spotted gunfire on the beaches off southern Sicily thought to be an enemy attempt to repulse a division of Allied paratroopers landing behind Gela (Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy).

In the early morning hours of 10 July 1943, Glennon swept the approach course approximately 8,000–12,000 yards seaward of Allied troop transports as they made their way to the Dime landing beaches. The destroyer then commenced patrolling the outer transport area off Gela. Allied naval ships began firing on shore batteries and searchlights at 0325 and two hours later, Glennon opened fire on enemy aircraft passing overhead. Her crew reported bombs falling inside the transport area at 1700, but failed to see any planes until spotting one German Junkers Ju 88 headed inshore at 1845 just as other unidentified enemy aircraft began attacking the convoy. Once the air raid ended, Glennon moved in closer to the landing beaches to patrol the transport area with Murphy and Butler.

She stopped patrolling on the morning of 11 July 1943, to relieve Jeffers as the shore fire support destroyer assigned to the flank of the Dime assault area. Her crew noted enemy aircraft dropping bombs in the harbor at 0651 and witnessed one hit Barnett. Two hours later, Glennon commenced bombarding designated targets onshore. At 1543, the destroyer spotted sixteen two-motored bombers approaching the transport area and began firing on them. Once the bombers moved out of sight, she resumed shore bombardment until 2054. Shortly after ceasing fire, her crew received the following message from the Shore Fire Control Party No. 5: “Good shooting, thank you.” At 2152, a German plane dropped a bomb approximately 150 yards astern of Glennon and she immediately returned fire. Enemy aircraft dropped three flares in the immediate vicinity at 2200 and continued their attack. There were three close misses during the air raids, but the destroyer suffered no damage.

Glennon continued naval gunfire fire support (NGFS) until she was relieved by Herndon on 12 July 1943, and directed to report to Commander, Task Unit (CTU) 81.6.2. That evening, she formed a column with Nelson and Jeffers and assumed a position in an antisubmarine screen for TF 81.2 bound for the Port of Algiers. The task force began transiting the Tunisian War Channel just after noon the following day (13 July) and steamed in to Algiers early on the 15th. After concluding screening duty for TF 81.2, Glennon shifted to the outer harbor to onload ammunition from Mount Baker (AE-4) and then anchored in port in 9 fathoms of water.

The destroyer stood out on 16 July 1943, and got underway to return to the Dime Assault Area, off Gela. While en route, she joined with Nelson, Plunkett (DD-431), Jeffers, and Niblack (DD-424). Entering the assault area the following morning, Glennon assumed duties as an antiaircraft ship to protect transport vessels unloading on the beaches. That evening, she formed a column with destroyers Nelson, Plunkett, and Niblack and set a course for Gozo Island, Malta, to rendezvous with NCS-3, a convoy carrying troops, materiel, and supplies necessary for the maintenance and buildup of the invasion of Sicily. After closing the vessels of NCS-3 at a location south of Gozo Island at 0720 on 18 July, Glennon assumed a screening station, came about, and proceeded to escort the convoy to Gela with Nelson, Plunkett, and Niblack. Just before 1900, Glennon formed a column with the other three destroyers and escorted NCS-3 through the swept channel leading to Gela and the Dime Assault Area.

Anchored off Gela on 20 July 1943, Glennon reported to Boise, and stood by for orders. Later that evening, she commenced patrolling the vicinity southeast of Gela with Niblack and Bristol. At 0400 the following day, she received orders to close with the ships anchored in the transport area and proceeded to circle the vessels at 10 knots while laying smoke. During the evening of 22 July, Glennon formed a screen with Butler and got underway to escort Boise to Bizerte, Tunisia. Savannah, Shubrick, and Herndon joined just over an hour later.

The convoy entered the swept channel to Bizerte on 23 July 1943, and Glennon anchored in the outer harbor. She got underway that evening, reformed a screen with Shubrick, Butler, Herndon, and Savannah, and escorted Boise to Algiers, arriving the following day.

During the afternoon of 28 July 1943, Glennon assumed a position in an antisubmarine screen comprised of Cowie (DD-632), Herndon, Butler, and Shubrick, and escorted Philadelphia and Savannah to Palermo, Sicily. The destroyer received a TBS message from Commander, Task Force (CTF) 88 via Shubrick at 1804 on 30 July, ordering her to replace Rowan (DD-405) as a NGFS ship and perform outside patrol duties off Palermo. Butler relieved Glennon the following morning and she proceeded in to port at Palermo.

Enemy aircraft began dropping bombs in the inner harbor of Palermo at 0412 on 1 August 1943. Glennon returned fire with her 20 millimeter and 40 millimeter batteries and within minutes, the aircraft commenced bombing the outer harbor. In an effort to protect the vulnerable Allied cruisers anchored in the area, Glennon started producing smoke while maneuvering at various courses and speeds. As she formed up a smoke screen, an enemy plane passed overhead at 0436 and strafed the starboard wing of her bridge, wounding two officers and six enlisted men. Her crew moved the most seriously wounded men to the sound room where the medical officer administered first aid before a stretcher party eventually transferred them to the forward battle dressing station as the air attack continued.

After another bomb missed close astern of Glennon at 0440 on 1 August 1943, she steamed to the outer harbor and screened Philadelphia while maneuvering to avoid the steady bombardment. At 0543, she sighted two high-altitude planes overhead, identified the aircraft as Ju 88s, and fired on them with her 5-inch/38 batteries. Sighting another Junkers overhead at 0548, she executed a hard right rudder to evade falling bombs and returned fire. During the course of the air raid, Glennon observed at least three enemy planes shot down. Bomb splashes became less frequent after 0600 and once the attack had finally ended, the ship’s crew began tending to the wounded: Lt. Milton M. Perloff, RM3c Hyman Rabinowitz, QM2c Carl J. Blackwell, RM3c Alexander Borodenco, S2c Jesse E. Savage, SM1c Eugene I. Olson, SOM2c Donald L. Mahannah, and Lt. Cmdr. Clifford A. Johnson, transferring Perloff and Rabinowitz to Philadelphia for further treatment. Glennon only suffered superficial damage on her starboard bridge wing and at 0615, she got underway to follow Philadelphia to the anchorage in Palermo’s outer harbor.

On the evening of 1 August 1943, Glennon stood out from Palermo to escort the transport ship Orizaba (AP-24), and the USATs Evangeline, Mexico, and Shawnee to Oran. After arriving on 4 August and mooring briefly, she got underway again to investigate an oil slick recently sighted by a French plane to the northeast of Oran. Quickly locating the spill, she searched the area for more than one hour, but made no enemy contact and returned to Oran.

The destroyer got underway on 8 August 1943 in company with Herndon to escort the attack transport Samuel Chase (APA-26) to Arzeu, French Algeria. Upon their arrival, Glennon and Herndon detached from Samuel Chase and screened Morris (DD-417), attack transport Thomas Jefferson (APA-30) and U.S. freighters Charles Piez and William Dean Howells back to Oran. Soon after standing in to Oran, Glennon left the convoy and proceeded independently to Mers-El-Kebir, where she moored an hour later.

Weighing anchor the next day (9 August 1943), Glennon got underway with Nelson, Cowie, Murphy, and Herndon to screen a convoy comprised of Chateau Thierry (AP-31), Orizaba, Borinquen, Evangeline, Mexico, and Shawnee to Casablanca, French Morocco. The ships transited the Strait of Gibraltar the following morning (10 August) and entered the swept channel to Casablanca. Later that afternoon, Glennon shifted to the inner harbor and moored alongside Murphy.

She reported to TG-89.6 on 12 August 1943 and joined Nelson, Murphy, Herndon, and Cowie to form an antisubmarine screen for Orizaba, Shawnee, Borinquen, Mexico, Chateau Thierry, Evangeline, and Buena Vista. In accordance with a signal from the SOPA for TG-89.6 (Commander Destroyer Squadron Seventeen embarked in Nelson), the task group departed Casablanca at 1250 that afternoon and charted a course for Gravesend Bay, Brooklyn, N.Y. At 1540, Merak (AF-21), Salamonie, and Chemung joined TG-89.6 under the escort of Gherardi, Jeffers, Roe, and Butler. After reforming and changing speed, the task group resumed its westward course.

While en route to Brooklyn on 17 August 1943, Glennon sighted an unidentified vessel at a distance of 11,000 yards and proceeded to investigate. Her crew positively identified the vessel as a U-boat shortly before it submerged. Nelson joined Glennon and both ships dropped a series of depth charges as they searched for the submarine, but failed to make contact.

On 21 August 1943, Lt. Raymond W. Johnson, Nelson’s medical officer, boarded Glennon to assist in an emergency surgical procedure on TM2c Harold .E. Parsons, V-2, USNR, one of Glennon’s plankowners, to treat a duodenal ulcer. With permission to part from TG-89.6, the ship reduced her speed and steamed independently to create optimal conditions for surgery. Upon completion of the procedure, she resumed her position in the task group during the early hours of the following morning.

The remainder of the voyage proceeded without incident and TG-89.6 entered the swept channel to New York Harbor early on 22 August 1943. Before steaming to Gravesend Bay, Glennon anchored off Fort Lafayette at 1106 and lowered her motor whaleboat to return Lt. Johnson to Nelson. She then offloaded ammunition onto a lighter before shifting to the north side of Pier J, Berth No. 16, New York Navy Yard.


Looking aft from Glennon’s forecastle during a period of repairs and alterations at the New York Navy Yard, 3 September 1943. Note three prominent “mousetrap” anti-submarine rocket launchers, so named because of the obvious similarity with the rodent-catching device, fitted just ahead of Mt. 51. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-51489, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Looking aft from Glennon’s forecastle during a period of repairs and alterations at the New York Navy Yard, 3 September 1943. Note three prominent “mousetrap” anti-submarine rocket launchers, so named because of the obvious similarity with the rodent-catching device, fitted just ahead of Mt. 51. (U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships Photograph BS-51489, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

Glennon returned to Gravesend Bay on 4 September 1943 to onload ammunition before getting underway early the following morning to report to TF 67. During the afternoon of 5 September, she formed a screen with destroyers Nelson, Butler, Gherardi, Herndon, Murphy, Cowie, Earle (DD-635), Fitch (DD-462), Quick (DD-490), Capps (DD-550), Weber (DE-675), and Jeffers. After maneuvering into assigned positions, the ships stood out of New York Harbor to escort convoy UT-2 to Belfast, Northern Ireland (N.I.), U.K. Just over one week later, on 14 September, the first ships of the convoy began entering the swept channel to Belfast Lough where Glennon anchored briefly before shifting to Ballyholme Bay the next day.

Departing Belfast on 21 September 1943, Glennon joined Nelson, Murphy, Butler, Gherardi, Herndon, Cowie, Earle, Quick, Weber, Bell (DD-587) and Isherwood (DD-520), forming a screen for convoy TU-2 in the early morning hours, and set a return course for New York. During the voyage, TU-2 encountered hurricane conditions on 30 September. Heavy seas and gale-force winds battered the convoy from dawn until just after midnight, but all of the ships successfully navigated the severe weather and continued steaming on course.

Convoy TU-2 entered New York Harbor on 1 October 1943. After clearing the swept channel, Glennon steamed past the Fort Lafayette Light abeam to starboard en route to the New York Navy Yard where she moored portside to Pier D-4. On 13 October, the destroyer settled on keel blocks on the floor of Dry Dock No. 4 to undergo repairs. She completed her availability three days later, 16 October, and shifted to Pier J, Berth 15, before getting underway again on 19 October to conduct post-repair trials in local waters. That evening, she moored to the north side of the 33rd Street Pier, Bush Terminal, Brooklyn, to exchange ammunition.

On 21 October 1943, Glennon rendezvoused with Texas (BB-35), Nelson, Quick, Gherardi, Butler, Herndon, Knight (DD-633), and Murphy to form an antisubmarine screen as part of TF 69. The ships departed New York that day with orders to escort the merchant and troop convoy UT-4 to Bangor Bay, Belfast. While underway that evening, one of the destroyers in the antisubmarine screen, Murphy, was involved in an accident 80 miles east of New Jersey. Shortly after 2120, the oil tanker Bulkoil knifed into Murphy on her port side between the bridge and forward stack. The extreme force of the collision broke Murphy in two and sent more than 100 sailors into the frigid North Atlantic. Her bow floated free, but her stern listed and began to sink, trapping 38 men below deck.

Glennon left her screening station to investigate the accident. Upon arriving at the scene, she lowered her motor whaleboat and took on more than 100 men who had been clinging to life rafts and floating debris. Knight and Jeffers soon joined the rescue effort and circled the area in search of survivors. After rescuing all of the sailors found in the water, Glennon took Murphy’s bow in tow and began transiting back to New York. On the following day, she cast off the towline to the civilian tug Rescue and transferred the survivors to the Coast Guard cutter Cartigan (WSC-132), before coming about, rejoining the convoy on 23 October, and proceeding to Belfast.

During the morning of 28 October 1943, Glennon made sound contact with an unidentified source and left the convoy screen to investigate. After dropping a series of depth charges, she determined that the source was not a submarine, and returned to her screening position. Three days later (31 October), the convoy steamed in to Bangor Bay, Belfast where Glennon moored alongside the oiler Chicopee (AO-34) and refueled.

She weighed anchor on 7 November 1943 to assume a screening position with TF 69. After standing out from anchorage in Belfast Lough, Glennon joined Texas, Nelson, Earle, Doran (DD-634), Jeffers, Butler, Quick, Herndon, Knight, and Gherardi to escort TU-4 en route to New York Harbor.

Glennon detached from her station in the screen at 2130 on 9 November 1943 to escort the straggling merchantman, Fairisle, back in to Belfast. She left Fairisle in the early hours of the following morning and reversed course to rejoin the convoy. Two days later (12 November), Glennon received word via a TBS message that the troop transport USAT J. W. McAndrew had lost a man overboard and she immediately came about to commence circling the area presumed to be the man’s location. After a brief search, her crew heard the man’s calls for help, located him in the water, and brought him on board. The destroyer then changed course and rejoined the convoy screen.

The ships of TU-4 stood in to New York Harbor on 18 November 1943 and Glennon anchored briefly before shifting to the Navy Yard Annex, Bayonne, N.J. The destroyer then transited to the anchorage near Fort Lafayette on 30 November to onload ammunition before making her way to Operating Area Roger, off Block Island, R.I., to rendezvous with ComDesRon 17 and conduct antisubmarine drills with Ericsson (DD-440) and Barracuda (SS-163). Upon conclusion of the exercises, she anchored at Fort Pond Bay [Long Island], N.Y., on 1 December.

Glennon got underway on 2 December 1943, in a column comprised of Nelson, Jeffers, Ericsson, Rhind (DD-404) and Nicholson (DD-442) to conduct gunnery exercises en route to the New York Navy Yard where she moored the following day. During the morning of 5 December, the destroyer joined a screen for the battleship Nevada (BB-36) and convoy UT-5 bound for Lough Larne, N.I. The other escorts included Jeffers, Quick, Rhind, Butler, Gherardi, and Herndon. While steaming to Lough Larne on 7 December, Cowie, Doran, Earle, and Knight escorted Florence Nightingale (AP-70), USAT J.W. McAndrew, troopship Sterling Castle, and merchant ship Explorer into positions in UT-5.

The convoy anchored off Lough Larne during the evening of 14 December 1943. Two days later, Glennon got underway in local waters to conduct exercises with U.S. and British ships. She then transited to Bangor Bay and anchored overnight before shifting to Belfast on the following day. The destroyer returned to Bangor Bay for a brief visit on 20 December, before getting underway again that evening to rendezvous with TU-5 in preparation for escorting the convoy to New York.

Midway through the transatlantic voyage, on Christmas morning 1943, TU-5 experienced heavy winds and rains, which caused several of the ships to lose speed and break from the formation. Glennon, Jeffers and Earle stood by the stragglers and shepherded them back into position once the inclement weather began to subside. On 31 December, TU-5 formed into two columns and began streaming in to the swept channel to New York Harbor. Glennon waited at the entrance of the harbor until half of the convoy had entered and then transited to Gravesend Bay where she anchored overnight before shifting to Pier C, Berth 2, New York Navy Yard.

Glennon transited back to Gravesend Bay on 11 January 1944 to exchange ammunition before joining Nelson, Butler, and Shubrick. The ships steamed north to Casco Bay to conduct gunnery exercises and returned to New York on 15 January. Three days later (18 January), she rendezvoused with Nelson, Jeffers, Rhind, Butler, Shubrick, Herndon, and Gherardi to escort convoy UT-7 to Lough Larne.

The ships of UT-7 steamed in to Lough Larne on the afternoon on 28 January 1944. Glennon got underway locally the following day with the British armed yacht Philante to conduct various training maneuvers including firing exercises, antisubmarine warfare (ASW) drills, and convoy escort practices. Two days later (30 January), the destroyer proceeded north to Greenock, Scotland, in formation with Nelson, Rhind, and Jeffers.

Underway again on 3 February 1944, Glennon took an escort position for the New York bound convoy TU-7 in an antisubmarine screen comprised of Nelson and the ships of DesDivs 30, 33, and 34. While en route to New York during the evening of 6 February, SoM3c Edwin F. Tanner, one of Glennon’s sonarmen, reported that he had detected torpedo noise on the echo equipment. The destroyer quickly changed course to avoid the approaching torpedo, which missed so narrowly that several crewmembers sighted its wake pass starboard to port at a distance of no more than 50 yards. In response, Glennon detached from TU-7 to search for the enemy vessel, but ultimately failed to make contact and rejoined the convoy. The remainder of the voyage proceeded apace without any further issues and on 13 February, the convoy began entering New York Harbor. Glennon anchored in Gravesend Bay that evening and offloaded ammunition the following day before mooring starboard side to Nelson at Pier K, Berth 20. The destroyer then entered Dry Dock No. 3 at the New York Navy Yard to undergo routine upkeep (23–25 February).

Shifting to Gravesend Bay on 29 February 1944 to onload ammunition, Glennon formed a column with Butler, Herndon and Rhind and steamed to there that afternoon to conduct scheduled joint training exercises. The destroyer participated in a wide variety of drills and maneuvers off the coast of Maine with several ships of the Atlantic Fleet (3–18 March) and then returned to New York to onload ammunition on 21 March. Two days later, she joined the Gibraltar-bound TF 63, consisting of destroyers Nelson, Butler, Jeffers, Herndon, Gherardi, and Shubrick, Jordan (DE-204), Cofer (DE-208), Newman (DE-205), Liddle (DE-206), and Kephart (DE-207).

The task force arrived at Gibraltar on 1 April 1944 and Glennon moored in the harbor until 6 April when she joined a screen as part of TF 63 and got underway to escort GUS-35 to New York. After standing into New York harbor with the convoy on 22 April, Glennon anchored in Gravesend Bay where at least three different tugs fouled her several times as they towed vessels to and from the nearby pier on May 1st and 2nd. Divers investigated the destroyer’s hull and propellers, but found no apparent damage.

Glennon onloaded ammunition on 4 May 1944 before rendezvousing with TG 27.10 and getting underway for Northern Ireland the next day. On 14 May, following an uneventful voyage, the ships of the task force began entering the swept channel to Belfast Lough. Upon her arrival, Glennon reported to Commander, Twelfth Fleet. After refueling the next morning, the destroyer proceeded on to Plymouth, England, in company with Nelson, Murphy, Jeffers, Butler, Gherardi, Herndon, and Shubrick to take part in various conferences and training exercises with shore fire control parties. Shortly after arriving at Plymouth on 16 May, Glennon provisioned to capacity, and the ship’s commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Clifford A. Johnson, received a considerable volume of sealed operation orders, plans, and correspondence regarding her assignment to the impending Allied invasion of Normandy, France, known as Operation Neptune.

Underway on 23 May 1944 with Murphy and Jeffrey in a column on Nelson, Glennon participated in joint shore bombardment exercises at the firing area off Slapton Sands, England, in preparation for Neptune. Following the directives of Eleventh Amphibious Force Secret Training Order No. CC-44, the ships fired individually at shore targets in two separate phases while under the observation of Shore Fire Control Party 18. Upon conclusion of the exercises, Glennon formed a column with Jeffers and Murphy astern of Nelson, and steamed back to Plymouth that afternoon.

Glennon rendezvoused with Murphy and Jeffers on 24 May 1944 to escort the heavy cruiser Augusta (CA-31) to Portland, England. While moored the following day, all hands manned the rail as King George VI reviewed the ships of the Western Task Force assembled in Portland harbor. Glennon returned to Plymouth on 25 May, where Lt. Cmdr. Johnson gained authorization to open the sealed operation orders he had received earlier that month. According to the orders, Glennon was assigned to “Bombardment Group A”, led by Rear Adm. Morton L. Deyo, as part of Admiral Don P. Moon’s Force U, the naval group responsible for assaulting Utah Beach under Adm. Alan G. Kirk, the commander of the Western Naval Task Force.

After onloading ammunition on 26 May 1944, Glennon transited to Belfast Lough where Lt. Cmdr. Johnson briefed the ship’s officers of their tasks and duties in the impending invasion. On 31 May, the destroyer weighed anchor and steamed to Ardrossan, Scotland, in company with Jeffers, Plunkett and Murphy, to take part in anti-E-boat (fast German torpedo boat) exercises. The ships then returned to Belfast Lough the following day and fueled to capacity. During the afternoon of 2 June, Lt. Cmdr. Johnson received a dispatch from the Naval Commander of the Western Task Force (NCWTF) informing him that D-Day was scheduled for 5 June and Force U had been assigned an H-Hour of 0600.

On 3 June 1944, Glennon rendezvoused with Jeffers, Gherardi, and Plunkett, Blessman (DE-69) and Amesbury (DE-66). At 0145, the ships stood out of Bangor Bay, formed a screening column, and got underway to escort Convoy U1A across the English Channel to Utah Beach. The first section of the bombardment group of Force U, Convoy U1A was comprised of Texas, Arkansas (BB-33), and Nevada, and French light cruisers Montcalm and George Leygues.


Glennon en route to Normandy, 4 June 1944, with the funnels of a British light cruiser visible in the background. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-252264, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)
Caption: Glennon en route to Normandy, 4 June 1944, with the funnels of a British light cruiser visible in the background. (U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-252264, National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Division, College Park, Md.)

While steaming to the assault area off Utah Beach on 4 June 1944, Force U received a dispatch from NCWTF changing H-Hour to 0630 on 6 June because of adverse weather conditions. In accordance with the postponement plan, Convoy U1A came about amid rough seas and high winds and reversed course for 12 hours. At 0750 on 5 June, Glennon and the ships of U1A joined with the second section of the bombardment group of Force U, Convoy U1B, at Point Yoke, the designated rendezvous point south of the Isle of Wight. The two convoys merged, reformed into columns, and got underway for the Utah Assault Area during the evening of 5 June.

In the early morning hours of 6 June 1944, Glennon approached the assault area while steaming on the outboard flanks of the convoy in a protective screen formed by several other destroyers. After passing through an approach lane swept clear of mines, she proceeded to the north and west of the transport area to protect the bombardment group from submarines and German E-boats. She then took her assigned shore fire control station and began firing at German machine gun nests and batteries on the beach to provide NGFS for troops moving ashore.

Glennon shifted to a different station on 7 June 1944 and expended 430 5-inch shells at numerous designated targets to support troops advancing eastward toward Quinéville, France. At sunrise the following day, the destroyer returned to the same shore fire control station to resume shore bombardment, but was directed to standby and received no targets. While maintaining her position in the shore fire control station and awaiting further orders, at 0803, Glennon’s crew felt the impact of a tremendous explosion close aboard the port quarter. The force of the explosion ripped a 600-pound depth charge off the stern racks and hurled it onto the torpedo platform and slung a 150-pound cement dan-buoy anchor 125 feet from the fantail to the port gun tub. Two sailors who were standing on the fantail during the explosion were tossed 40 feet into the air before landing overboard. One of the men was later rescued with broken legs and possible internal injuries. Glennon went to General Quarters. Crewmembers lowered the ship’s motor whaleboat to pick up 16 men who had been thrown into the water and repair parties assembled aft to begin rescue and salvage work. An immediate assessment of the damage revealed that the ship had struck or detonated an acoustic mine, but was in no danger of sinking.

Just after 0830 on 7 June 1944, the minesweepers Staff (AM-114) and Threat (AM-124) arrived on the scene to tow Glennon to the transport area. Staff took up a towline and Threat set out to sweep a path in advance. A short time later, the Rich (DE-695) arrived to provide assistance, but Glennon’s crew signaled that no help was needed and warned her to clear the area with caution to avoid mines. As Rich rounded Glennon's stern to depart, a mine detonated 50 yards off her starboard beam. The concussion tripped Rich’s circuit breakers, shutting down the ship's lighting, and knocked several sailors off their feet, but resulted in no structural damage. Minutes later, however, a second mine detonated directly under Rich and blew off a 50-foot section of her stern and a third mine exploded under her bow, breaking her across the forecastle just forward of the bridge, sinking the ship in minutes. Fortunately, several small craft near the vicinity of the explosions rushed to pick up the survivors in short order.

By 0900 on 7 June 1944, Staff had determined that she could not budge Glennon, whose broken fantail sat firmly anchored to the bottom by her starboard propeller. Lt. Cmdr. Johnson thus altered his plans and ordered all of the wounded men and half of the ship’s able-bodied crew to transfer to Staff. He then instructed those who remained on board the stricken vessel to proceed with salvage efforts. On 9 June, Lt. Cmdr. Johnson arranged to have a salvage detail of five officers and 50 men transferred from the tank landing ship LST-539 to the liberty ship Ben Robertson and brought to Glennon.

The following morning (8 June 1944), as Lt. Cmdr. Johnson was preparing to bring on the salvage detail and resume efforts to save his ship, a German battery near Quinnéville fired a salvo that splashed about 200 yards off Glennon’s port quarter. The battery then found its range and fired a second salvo that struck the destroyer amidships. After a third salvo wounded two men, one seriously, and cut off all power, Lt. Cmdr. Johnson gave the order to abandon ship and the crew quickly evacuated onto landing craft. Glennon continued to float until 10 June 1944, when around 2145, she began listing heavily and sank. She had suffered 25 dead and 38 wounded.

Glennon, stricken from the Navy Register on 29 July 1944, received two battle stars for her service in World War II.

Commanding Officers Date Assumed Command
Cmdr. Floyd C. Camp 8 October 1942
Lt. Cmdr. Clifford A. Johnson 30 August 1943


Justin B. Blanton

6 January 2020

Published: Wed Jan 08 13:08:15 EST 2020