DD-802 General Specifications
Class: Fletcher class destroyer
Named for: Francis H. Gregory
Complement: 329 Officers and Enlisted
Displacement: 2050 tons
Length: 376 feet 6 inches
Beam: 39 feet inches
Flank Speed: 38 knots
Range: 6 500 nautical miles
Final Disposition:Used as a target 4 March 1971
USS GREGORY (DD-802)
Gregory (DD-802) was launched by the Todd-Pacific Ship Building Co.
8 May 1944; sponsored by Miss Ann McGuigan
daughter of Captain McGuigan
superintendent of construction at Tacoma; and commissioned 29 July 1944
Commander Bruce McCandless commanding.
After shakedown along the West Coast
Gregory sailed for the Pacific with Hull (DD-350)
reaching Pearl Harbor 23 October 1944. Two months of local operations terminated in January 1945 as Gregory began practice for the impending invasion of Iwo Jima
next-to-last great campaign of the long and bloody Pacific war. Gregory sailed for the island 22 January
arriving off Iwo Jima via Saipan and Eniwetok on D-day
19 February. For the next month she remained off the rocky coast under almost constant fire to screen transports and provide fire support for the invasion forces. Departing Iwo Jima 15 March Gregory reached Saipan 4 days later to prepare for her role in the Okinawa campaign.
last step prior to invasion of the Japanese home islands themselves
involved over a thousand ships and half a million men
under Admiral R. A. Spruance in the Pacific's war largest amphibious effort. Gregory joined this modern armada as it sailed from Saipan 27 March and was off Okinawa 1 April 1945 as the first waves of Marines waded ashore to bloody battle. Her task group
under Admiral Jerauld Wright
conducted a "demonstration landing" on the southeast coast
hoping to distract some Japanese attention from the actual invasion along Okinawa's western coast. This diversion complete Gregory remained at Okinawa on patrol and radar picket station.
On the afternoon of 8 April
Gregory's lookouts spotted three Japanese planes coming in out of the setting sun
a favorite kamikaze device. One of the suicide craft pieces of fuselage spinning wildly off as Gregory's guns registered hit after hit
crashed into the destroyer amidships just above the waterline to port. Gregory shuddered under the impact and began to slow in the water as power failed in her forward engine and fire rooms flooded. The two other kamikazes mercilessly pressed on their attack
but the wounded DD downed both of them in blazing gunfire. Gregory then steamed to the anchorage at Kerama Retto for temporary repairs
and on 19 April departed Okinawa. After escorting the carrier Intrepid to Pearl Harbor
she sailed for San Diego
reaching there 18 May for battle repairs. While Gregory was still in overhaul
the Japanese surrendered and the destroyer was placed in inactive status
in commission reserve
at San Diego. She decommissioned 15 January 1947.
Gregory's rest was to be brief
as Communist forces launched their war in Korea 24 June 1950 and the U:S. Navy joined United Nations forces; she recommissioned 27 April 1951
Comdr. H. C. Lank in command. Reaching Yokosuka
via Pearl Harbor and Midway 16 August 1951
Gregory immediately began patrol duty along the Korean coast. Her principal duties were screening American carriers
such as Essex and Boxer
from which air strikes against North Korean positions and supply lines were launched
blockading the coast
and participating in coastal bombardment as the tide of war ebbed and cowed along the Korean peninsula. In addition
she was frequently assigned to the Formosa patrol
intended to prevent Communist action against the beleaguered republic. Here Gregory came under fire from mainland Communist Chinese shore batteries. While on a search-and rescue mission for a downed P2V 19 January 1953
she closed to within 8
000 yards of Nan-ao Tao
a Communist held island Just off the China coast. Though shore batteries opened fire on her Gregory did not return the fire
instead clearing the area immediately to continue her SAR mission.
After the Korean Armistice ended the shooting war in August 1953
Gregory returned to a peacetime routine of local operations out of San Diego interspersed with yearly deployments
usually 6 months long
to the Far East. These deployments took her to Yokosuka
and Formosa for training maneuvers with American and other warships. In the fall of 1958 Gregory spent a tension filled 2 1/2 months off the China coast during one of the periodic intensifications of the Quemoy-Matsu crisis.
Gregory earned the Battle Efficiency "E" three times during her post-war career 1955
and 1959.Gregory decommissioned at San Diego 1 February 1964 and entered the reserve. She was struck from the Navy List 1 May 1966
and now serves as an inoperable trainer at San Diego.
Gregory earned two battle stars during World War II and four battle stars during the Korean conflict.
[Note: The above USS GREGORY (DD-802) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS GREGORY (DD-802) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]