When a ship is authorized by the Congress of the United States there are four key historical and ceremonial occasions that occur during her life. These ceremonies are the keel laying, the launch and christening, the commissioning; and finally, the last historical event, the decommissioning. USS Eugene A. Greene (DD-711) experienced all of these events, with commissioning and decommissioning occurring twice. This is a brief history of USS Greene's life and record of service as a ship-of-the-line in the United States Navy.
USS Greene was constructed in ten months. The keel of the ship was laid on August 17, 1944, by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Port Newark, New Jersey. The keel laying ceremony honored the beginning of USS Greene's life and all in attendance added their wishes of "good luck and following seas". The ship was commissioned on June 8, 1945, and thus began USS Eugene A. Greene's (DD-711) life as a United States Naval Destroyer.
At the end of the 19th century most of the world's navies concentrated their efforts on the development and employment of fast, maneuverable, but lightly armed, torpedo equipped boats. These torpedo-boats would charge, attack and escape from the larger and more ponderous iron-clad warships. The defensive invention to counter the torpedo boat was the torpedo-boat destroyer ( later shortened to destroyer). It was at the turn of the 20th century that the destroyer was conceived, and its mission was to neutralize the threat that torpedo-boats posed against larger ships-of-the-line.
The destroyer possessed the speed to overtake the torpedo-boat and the fire-power to overwhelm and destroy it. Because of its effectiveness the role of the destroyer was soon expanded from this single purpose to tasks formally accomplished by gunboats, small monitor ships and other naval vessels. Thus, shortly after its development, the destroyer became a multi-purpose weapons ship whose capabilities continuously evolved from the original concept to fulfill the many different missions assigned to it.
This evolution of a destroyer's capabilities is readily apparent when looking at USS Greene's twenty-seven year life span. As her mission changed so did her sensors and armament, but at all times USS Greene, like her predecessors, was ready to answer any call. USS Greene served as a rescue ship, gunfire support ship, patrol ship, anti-submarine warfare ship, surveillance ship, anti-air warfare ship and a goodwill ship that showed the flag around the world.