USS CORRY (DD-463) Survivors'
First-hand Accounts of D-Day
Everett Dale Howard
Quartermaster, 1st class, USS Corry (DD-463)
This narration is all about a very gallant US Navy war vessel which in a very short span of time, about three years, took her place in naval history. From the time that she was launched in July, 1941 until she met her fate on the morning of June 6, 1944, she had performed all the tasks asked of her. I pay tribute to this gallant ship and to the men who served with her.
The destroyer USS Corry (DD-463) received four battle stars for World War II service.
The captain of this great vessel for the last part of her life was Lieutenant Commander George Dewey Hoffman, USN, and he was in command on June 6, 1944 at 0630 AM, 1500 yards off of Utah Beach when the Corry struck an underwater mine which blew her apart amidships. The Corry had expended some 400 rounds of munitions from her 5-inch guns with reported excellent results of destruction of German fortifications and other targets. A smoke screen to shield the Corry and her sister destroyers failed to screen the Corry and the German guns concentrated on the only target they could see. We had no power to move the ship and the flak was unbearable so Captain gave the order to abandon ship.
I guess I was the last one to see LT Bensman alive since he was hit with a piece of shrapnel right before my eyes. I was hanging onto a float and he swam up to me and said, "How are you doing Howard?" and about that time a piece of shrapnel took the top of his head off. He just rolled back into the water. The same piece of shrapnel could have hit me a glancing blow because I do not remember much of anything after that. I was awakened (probably on the USS Fitch) by a doctor and I heard someone say that they thought that I was dead and they saw my feet move while I was in the bottom of the whaleboat.
Of the 19 officers and 244 men on board, 24 were killed or trapped in the vessel and many more wounded but survived. The fact that many more were not killed or wounded is a tribute to Captain Hoffman's bravery, skill and decisive capability in a very difficult situation under intense enemy fire. I salute Captain Hoffman and all the other gallant officers and men who served on the Corry.
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