Firing back, 75 years ago today
Nothing could scream “The Battle of the Atlantic” quite like this image, now some three-quarters of a century old.
While during a WWII-North Atlantic Convoy, USS Greer (DD-145)‘s gun crew on the after deck fires a gun during night action, 30 June 1943.
Greer, a downright elderly Wickes-class “four-piper” destroyer laid down in February 1918 became the first U.S. Navy ship to fire on a German ship, three months *before* the United States officially entered World War II after U-652 let loose a torpedo in her general direction (which the Germans disputed). The “Greer Incident” led FDR to issue what became known as his “shoot-on-sight” order.
Greer, who escorted a number of convoys across the North Atlantic and finished the war on plane guard duty for new carriers stretching their legs on the East Coast, was decommissioned 19 July 1945. Her name was struck from the Navy list 13 August and her hull was sold to the Boston Metal Salvage Company of Baltimore, Maryland on 30 November 1945.