Figure 2: USS Corry (DD-463) is moved away by tugs just after she was launched at the Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina, on 28 July 1941. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 3: Sinking of German submarine U-801, 16-17 March 1944. U-801 is on the surface (directly above the aircraft wingtip), being pursued and fired on by USS Corry (DD-463), at right, on 17 March 1944. Photographed from a TBM Avenger aircraft attached to squadron VC-6, which was based on the escort carrier USS Block Island (CVE-21). Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 4: Sinking of German submarine U-801, 16-17 March 1944. U-801 sinking with her bow high on 17 March 1944. USS Corry (DD-463) is coming up at right. The submarine was sunk by aircraft and surface ships of the USS Block Island (CVE-21) group. Photographed from a TBM Avenger aircraft attached to squadron VC-6, which was based on the escort carrier USS Block Island. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 5: Sinking of German submarine U-801, 16-17 March 1944. USS Corry (DD-463) with nets over her side, rescuing U-801's survivors, after the submarine had been sunk by aircraft and surface ships of the USS Block Island (CVE-21) hunter/killer anti-submarine group on 17 March 1944. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Named after William Merrill Corry (1889-1920), an early naval aviator who was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery, the 1,630-ton USS Corry (DD-463) was a Gleaves class destroyer that was built by the Charleston Navy Yard at Charleston, South Carolina, and was commissioned on 18 December 1941. The ship was approximately 348 feet long and 36 feet wide, had a top speed of 35 knots, and had a crew of 208 officers and men. Corry was armed with four 5-inch guns, six 0.5-inch machine guns, ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, and depth charges.
Corry was assigned to the western Atlantic for the bulk of 1942, participating in patrol and escort missions that brought her as far north as Newfoundland, Canada, as far south as the Caribbean, and as far east as Bermuda. In October and November 1942, Corry took part in “Operation Torch,” which was the Allied amphibious assault on North Africa, specifically Morocco. Corry’s primary mission was to escort the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4). From 1943 to early 1944, Corry operated in the Caribbean and off America’s east coast, assisted in escorting convoys across the Atlantic to North Africa, and steamed from Iceland to Norway with the British Home Fleet, protecting merchant ships headed for Russia.
In February and March of 1944, Corry served with an anti-submarine hunter-killer task group built around the escort aircraft carrier USS Block Island (CVE-21). Corry and the other ships in her hunter-killer group left Casablanca, Morocco, on 11 March. On 16 March, they joined the destroyer escort USS Bronstein (DE-189) in attacking the German submarine U-801. When the damaged submarine surfaced the next day, Corry sank her with gunfire and picked up 47 of the U-boat’s survivors from the water. Corry returned to the United States and arrived at Boston, Massachusetts, on 30 March for a much needed overhaul.
After her overhaul was completed, Corry went to Norfolk, Virginia, and on 20 April 1944 left for Great Britain, where the massive armada for the amphibious assault on Normandy, France, was gathering. During the early morning hours of 6 June 1944, D-Day, Corry escorted merchant ships and transports across the English Channel. Once across the Channel, Corry began bombarding German shore batteries on “Utah” Beach. Suddenly, Corry hit a mine. Within minutes, the ship had broken in half and her main deck was under two feet of water. The order was given to abandon ship and her survivors went into the sea. For two hours, the crew endured constant German shelling from land while struggling to stay alive. They were finally rescued by several US Navy warships which braved the enemy shellfire to rescue the remaining crewmen. Given the massive explosion from the mine and the murderous enemy gunfire directed at them while in the water, casualties were relatively light. The crew lost six dead, 16 missing and presumed dead, and 33 injured. Casualties would have been far worse had it not been for the action taken by the nearby warships. Corry received four battle stars for her service during World War II.