THE SHIP

At the time of her commissioning at the New York Navy Yard on June 8, 1945, USS Greene was the second ship built of the 2,250 ton Gearing Class destroyers. At this time these ships were the heaviest and most powerful destroyers in the world . She was 390.5 feet in overall length and had a beam of 41 feet. Having a draft of 15 feet, USS Greene displaced 3,480 tons when fully loaded. She had four Babcock and Wilcox (600 pound P.S.I. steam boilers) and two turbine driven shafts which provided 60,000 shaft horsepower. Owing to her twin screws and twin rudders, USS Greene was highly maneuverable and capable of attaining speeds in excess of thirty-four knots. Her complement was 15 officers and 266 enlisted personnel.

USS Greene was named for Eugene Michael Greene (his baptismal record showed his middle name as "A." and the Navy changed his name when he enlisted to Eugene A. Greene). He was born in Smithtown, L.I., New York on November 21, 1921, and attended St. Francis Prep School in Brooklyn, New York. In 1940 he graduated from Rhode Island State College in Newport, Rhode Island with a BS Degree in Physical Education. He was on the school's varsity basketball team, captain of the golf team and editor of the school's yearbook. On January 13, 1941, Eugene enlisted in the Naval Reserve. After Air Cadet Training at Floyd Bennet Field in New York, he received further aviation training at the Naval Air Stations in Jacksonville and Miami, Florida. Next he received advanced training at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station and qualified for carrier landings with the Advanced Carrier Training Group, Atlantic Fleet at Norfolk, Virginia . He won his aviator's wings and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on August 30, 1941. In February of 1942 he married Miss Anita McSweeney.

Ensign Eugene A. Greene was assigned on March 11, 1942, to Bombing Squadron Six (VF-6) on board the USS Enterprise (CV-6). This squadron was the famous Dauntless Dive Bombers who were commanded by Air Group Commander, Lieutenant Commander Clarence Wade McClusky. On June 4, 1942 in The Battle of Midway, Ensign Eugene A. Greene was shot down and classified Missing in Action (MIA). He had distinguished himself in breaking through heavy Japanese fighter and anti-aircraft opposition to lead a courageous dive bombing attack against a Japanese carrier. Posthumously, he was awarded the Navy Cross for his selfless heroism. The citation read: "Disregarding extreme danger from concentrated anti-aircraft barrages and heavy fighter opposition ,he pressed home his attacks, with utter disregard for his own personal safety, and struck at the enemy forces at a distance from his own units which rendered return unlikely because of probable fuel exhaustion".

Ensign Greene and the other men of the Dauntless Dive Bombers at The Battle of Midway changed the entire course of the Pacific War. It was in this decisive battle that our Navy turned back the superior Japanese carrier task forces that were threatening Midway Island and Hawaii.

Following the Navy custom of naming destroyer type ships after Navy and Marine Corps heroes, the name Eugene A. Greene was assigned to DE-549. This decision was canceled on June 10, 1944, and the name was reassigned to DD-711 on July 10, 1944. USS Greene was launched on March 18, 1945, and was christened and sponsored by Mrs. Anita McSweeney Greene, widow of Ensign Greene. On June 8, 1945, the ship was commissioned USS Eugene A. Greene (DD-711) with Commander William V. "Bill" Pratt III , USN in command.