Named for Captain Charles Vernon Gridley

Charles Vernon Gridley


Captain Gridley commanded, Olympia, Admiral Dewey's famous flagship during the Battle of Manila Bay, 1 May, 1898.

USS Gridley is named for Charles Vernon Gridley who was born 24 November 1844 in Logansport, Ind., and appointed to the Naval Academy in 1860. Reporting for duty with his class in September 1863, Gridley joined the crew of the sloop-of-war Oneida with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and distinguished himself with Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay 5 August 1864. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1867 and Commander in 1882, he spent the next 30 years at various stations around the world, including a tour as instructor at the Naval Academy. Captain Gridley took command of Olympia, Admiral Dewey's famous flagship, 27 April 1898, a post which he held despite failing health during the Battle of Manila Bay 1 May 1898. It was that morning that Dewey gave his famous command: "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," immortalizing the doughty captain. After the destruction of the Spanish squadron and the capture of Manila, Gridley was obliged to leave his command because of his health, and died en route to the United States at Kobe, Japan, 25 May 1898.

Current USS Gridley

USS Gridley (DDG 101) is the fifty-first Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy and is the fourth ship to bear the name Gridley. Gridley was laid down on 30 July 2004, christened on 11 February 2006 and commissioned at the Port of Miami on 10 February 2007 with CDR S. Shinego as the commanding officer.

Gridley joined the Pacific Fleet and is homeported at Naval Base San Diego. She departed Naval Base San Diego on in May 2008 for her maiden deployment as a member of The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet area of responsibility operating in the western Pacific and Indian oceans.

USS Gridley’s next deployment in early 2011 was to the Western Pacific with the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) carrier strike group in 7th Fleet area of responsibility. She returned to her San Diego homeport July 2011 after completing a seven-month deployment.

In 2012 Gridley was part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) ONE and was on a six-month deployment in support of counter-piracy operations in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. USS Gridley visited the port of Goa, India while on deployment.

1st USS Gridley

The first USS Gridley (DD-92) was launched by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco, Calif, 4 July 1918; sponsored by Mrs. Francis P. Thomas, daughter of Captain Gridley, and commissioned 8 March 1919 with Comdr. Frank Jack Fletcher as the commanding officer.

The Gridley transited the Panama Canal in March 1919 and joined the Destroyer Force for maneuvers in Cuban waters. In April 1919 Gridley's first assignment was with a group of destroyers posted along the route of the Navy's transatlantic seaplane flight who sent up smoke and flare signals to guide the flyers. In May Gridley participated in the search for the aircraft NC-1, forced down in the fog, and then acted as guard ship on the last leg of NC-4's historic flight, which was completed at Plymouth, England, 31 May 1919.

Gridley spent the next 2 months in various ports of the Mediterranean transporting passengers and making goodwill visits. Operating out of Portsmouth, N.H., in September 1920 Gridley embarked for an inspection tour of Caribbean bases and commands. In the following years Gridley trained officers and men of the Naval Reserve Force. She decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard 22 June 1922 and remained inactive until her name was stricken from the Navy List 25 January 1937. Gridley’s hulk was sold for scrapping 19 April 1939.

For more detailed history on the first USS Gridley visit the Navy Archive page at

2nd USS Gridley

The second USS Gridley (DD-380) was launched at the Fore River plant of Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, Mass., 1 December 1936; sponsored by Mrs. Lewis Buddy III, daughter of Captain Gridley; and commissioned 24 June 1937 with Comdr. Leroy W. Busbey, Jr. as the commanding officer.

USS Gridley conducted shakedown cruises, underwent alterations and departed in June 1938 for San Diego. Gridley joined Destroyer Division 11 in July and departed in January 1939 with the Battle Force for combined maneuvers in the Caribbean. She participated in Fleet Problem 20 with the Fleet off Cuba and Haiti, after which she returned to Boston for repairs. The destroyer returned to San Diego in July 1939 and became flagship of Division 11. She conducted maneuvers off California until 2 April 1940, when Gridley and other ships of the fleet conducted Fleet Problem 21 in Hawaiian waters. Subsequently, Gridley operated out of Hawaii.

Gridley cleared Pearl Harbor 28 November 1941 as part of the antisubmarine screen for the Enterprise, flagship of Admiral Halsey and, after a stop at Wake Island, reversed course for Pearl Harbor. The Task Force approached Pearl Harbor on the morning of 7 December when the message was received: "Air raid on Pearl Harbor, this is no drill." Gridley entered the harbor next day to protect against renewed attack and, during the next 5 months, escorted transports and repair vessels to and from Pearl Harbor and South Pacific ports.

In May 1942 Gridley arrived at Kodiak, Alaska where she escorted transports and patrolled the Japanese-held islands of Kiska and Attu, assisting in the bombardment of Kiska 7 August 1942 as the flagship for famous destroyerman Comdr. Frederick Moosbrugger.

In September 1942 Gridley joined the Saratoga task force in Hawaiian waters and performed escort missions for both combatant and non-combatant ships in the Fijis and New Hebrides. In December 1942 she escorted oiler Cimarron out of Noumea to fueling rendezvous with the carrier task forces supporting the bitter fighting in the Solomons.

In July 1943 Gridley guarded the high-speed transports which rescued survivors from Helena in Parasco Bay, escorted infantry landing craft from Guadalcanal for the landings on Tambatuni, New Georgia and bombarded shore installations near the Tambatuni invasion beaches. In August Gridley and six other destroyers destroyed Japanese landing barges in Vella Gulf and screened USS Saratoga during air operations in the Solomons.

In September 1943 Gridley returned to Pearl Harbor with escort carriers Suwanee and Long Island and then departed for San Diego for repairs. Gridley assisted in the bombardment of Makin Island and patrolled the area in November 1943.

Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher's Carrier Task Force 58 departed Pearl Harbor in January 1944 with Gridley again acting as screening ship for Saratoga. Gridley guarded the carrier during crucial strikes against Wotje and Eniwetok. In March she sailed for the New Hebrides with carriers Yorktown, Princeton, and Langley and assisted them in support of the New Guinea offensive. The veteran destroyer sailed with the Hornet task force in June 1944 to take part in the invasion of the Marianas, where the carriers pounded Saipan, Rota, and Guam. In all these operations Gridley rendered invaluable service protecting the carriers against air and submarine attack.

Gridley was with American forces in the pivotal Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944, when four massive waves of Japanese torpedo bombers and escorting fighters were decimated by fleet air and surface units. Gridley's antiaircraft fire helped to protect the aircraft carriers in the battle that virtually ended Japanese air strength. Then Gridley departed Eniwetok Atoll with the carriers for strikes on Iwo Jima, Guam, Yap, Ulithi, and the Volcano Islands.

USS Gridley supported the American landings on Peleliu in September 1944. After screening carriers in attacks on Okinawa and Formosa, Gridley joined the mounting American forces for the invasion of the Philippines. While protecting the large ships off Luzon in October 1944 she and destroyer Helm detected and sank Japanese submarine I-51f with a series of devastating depth charge attacks. In the succeeding days, Gridley fought off Japanese suicide planes and then, with damaged carriers Franklin and Belleau Wood, arrived in Ulithi in November.

In February 1945 Gridley was with the fast carrier task force in the Leyte operation and joined a group of escort carriers for bombardment and patrol duties during the landings in Lingayen Gulf. Gridley escorted the battleship Mississippi en route to Pearl Harbor, and then sailed to New York for much-needed repairs in 30 March 1945.

For more detailed history on the second USS Gridley visit the Navy Archive page at

3rd USS Gridley

The third USS Gridley (DLG-21), a guided missile frigate, was launched by Puget Sound Bridge and Drydock Co. of Seattle, Wash., 31 July 1961; sponsored by Mrs. Stewart D. Rose, great-granddaughter of Captain Gridley; and commissioned 25 May 1963 with Captain P. A. Lilly as the commanding officer.

After outfitting at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., Gridley made a goodwill visit and conducted acceptance trials before she returned to Puget Sound Shipyard in December 1963. In early 1964 Gridley joined the Pacific Fleet as flagship of Destroyer Squadron 19 and went on deployment in the Western Pacific. In August she got underway for the South China Sea escorting Constellation (CVA-64) to strengthen American naval forces off Vietnam where Gridley served in screening and picket duty, coordinating antiaircraft warfare efforts, and relaying communications. In September the ship was awarded a Navy Unit commendation.

In July 1965 Gridley steamed to the South China Sea to support aircraft carriers of the 7th Fleet in operations against Communist targets in Vietnam. On four different occasions in the next 4 months, she rescued pilots who ditched at sea. In December she served in the South China Sea as "Tomcat," responsible for checking-in planes returning to their carriers. Early in 1966 she headed for home and reached Long Beach 1 February.

Gridley operated along the California coast until sailing for the Orient in November 1966. She left Subic Bay in January 1967 for plane guard duty in the China Sea and the Gulf of Tonkin. After varied duties in the fighting zone, she sailed for Australia en route to the West Coast. She arrived in Long Beach in June 1967 to prepare for future action.

For more detailed history on the third USS Gridley visit the Navy Archive page at

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