USS Eugene A. Greene (DD-711) Musters For Shakedown
On Thursday through Sunday ( September 22-25 1994) some 146 hearty shipmates (and mates) mustered at Virginia Beach, Virginia for their shakedown in preparation for the 50th Anniversary Cruise (Reunion) planned for the month of September 1995 at a Charleston, South Carolina Naval Facility. The Alpha, Bravo and Charlie ( Able, Baker and Charlie ... to you older Salts) crews:
Alpha -- Commissioning to March 1952 ...Gearing Class (DD-711)
Bravo -- April 1952 to October 1962 ...After a DDR conversion (DDR-711)
Charlie -- December 1962 to June
1972 ... as a DASH DD and back to (DD-711)
On June 17, 1972 USS Eugene A. Greene (DD-711) was transferred to the Spanish Navy and was renamed SNS Churruca (D-61). None of the Delta crew (The Spanish crew) showed up; they probably did not get the word ... at least they did not get it in Spanish. Several of the Charlie crew had remained with USS Greene to assist the Spanish in getting to know the "Old Girl". In the Spanish Navy USS Greene (then SNS Churruca) became a "wet" ship (brandy in the breakfast coffee; mid-morning beers; wine with lunch and etc.). The transition Charlie crew apparently survived these "hardships" because they recounted same at the Reunion.
The Sea Stories began as soon as the various crews assembled; and they improved as time went on ... at each telling the stories became more fierce, the liberties greater, the dangers more perilous ... these sea tales will be polished and even better when retold next year at Charleston:
Two (2) memorable signals from USS Greene in her Sixth Fleet days were related:
When quarried by a passing British Flag, "How long are you at sea?" ...USS Greene flashed, " 390 feet and six inches! The same length as we are in port!"
When asked to tow to Naples, Italy the destroyer MacDonald, which had had an engine casualty, the impatient American Flag kept asking for a status report, to which the USS Greene eventually responded, " USS Greene has Old MacDonald in tow E-I-E-I-O !"
Bill Oster then reported on the rugged duty aboard SNS Churraca nee USS Greene during the transfer to the Spanish Navy. Bill Gost reported on visiting the SNS Churraca in 1978 and finding the old "Greene" in good (Spanish) hands.
Eugene A. Greene, Ensign, USNR, born November 21, 1921 in Smithtown, Long Island, New York, Naval Aviator, killed in action on June 4, 1942 dive-bombing a Japanese carrier, Navy Cross posthumously. Upon decommissioning in 1952 ( for DDR conversion), Frank Cashin was requested to take to Anita Greene, his widow, the silver service from the USS Greene's wardroom. He reported Mrs. Greene to be a lovely and attractive lady. He will try to locate her to invite her to the USS Greene '95 Charleston Reunion.
Thursday - Arrival of Advance Party at the Holiday Inn - Virginia Beach, VA.
Friday - Tour of MacArthur Museum, Norfolk, VA; followed by a little "sea-duty" aboard the City of Norfolk, a sight-seeing cruise ship, on which the noon meal was served. The tour was of the Norlfolk-Hampton Roads Harbor Facility, reported to be the largest deep-water port in the world ... capable of handling every ship in the world!
Saturday - Tour of NOB Norfolk; staring at Admiral's Row where 24 Naval Flag Officers and Generals have their official residences; a lunch as the Officer's Club; then a visit to the USS Scott (DDG-995), a guided missile destroyer (length - 563 feet, 10,200 tons, 80,000 shaft-horsepower; vs. USS Greene's 390.5 feet 2250 tons, 60,000 shaft-horsepower) propelled by 4 gas turbans, with 2-5"/54 guns, 2-guided-missile launchers, 2-torpedo tubes, and a helicopter hanger.
In the evening, the All-Hands Evolution ...pictures, the banquet, the meeting, the sea-stories ... all led by Jack Plasterer, assisted by Glen and Laverne Herman.
Sunday - A meeting of the new committee, breakfast and departure of All Hands.
All Hands are requested to seek out all USS Greene Shipmates for the next Reunion in Charleston, South Carolina in 1995 ... STAND-BY FOR THE DATE AND OTHER DETAILS!