Wit's End...

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from the Hamilton Journal (date unknown) Hamilton, Ohio

James Franklin Thacker


Thacker Home

After Sinking of Invasion Destroyer

Fast Off-Shore Action Described by Hamilton Man

Escape from the destroyer U.S.S. Glennon which was sunk off the invasion coast of France with 25 dead Americans aboard her is the grim experience of James Franklin Thacker, quartermaster second class with the Navy, who is now home on a much deserved 30-day leave with his sister, Mrs. Leo Schwing, 832 South Seventh street.

A veteran of two invasions- those of Sicily and France, 22 year-old Thacker first went on convoy duty in February, 1943, and has made 13 trips with the Glennon. The Glennon a 1,650 ton destroyer, was commissioned in October, 1942, and made 17 trips of convoy duty across the Atlantic before her last one, arriving on June 6, D-day, in the Seine bay just off Cranton, France.

Thacker has vividly described the tense last days of the Glennon. "Mine sweepers were just ahead sweeping the channels when we arrived on the morning of D-day. On the night of June 7 mines were dropped by German parachutes, but we then believed them to be bombs.

(part of article missing)

...anchoring it, and making it impossible to move out of range of gunfire from the beach.

"The USS Rich, a destroyer escort, who came to help, struck three mines almost immediately and there was nothing left of her. A few of the men blown into the water were saved by a ship standing by, but even some of these men died later of their wounds.

"Twenty-five men in my compartment on the Glennon lost their lives, but all but 52 of the original crew of 270 men abandoned ship on a minesweeper.

"I was one of those who stayed on board for salvage crew." Thacker related, "expecting always to be fired upon or boarded by the Germans, because we were just off the beach and helpless. All hands carried a tommy gun or 45 revolver or was manning one of the ship's 20-millimeter guns at all times.

Ship Abandoned

"Shelling started at sunrise on the morning of the tenth. After the second hit, all hands abandoned ship. Two men were wounded at this time. The Germans scored 14 direct hits which went clear through the ship, and the Glennon went down slowly. The Germans were firing JU 88 millimeter shells.

"we left the Glennon on a salvage tugboat, which had been standing by. Survivors were shipped on an LST (landing ship for troops and tanks) to England where we spent three weeks at a rest camp. We were shipped home on a transport and our 30-day leaves started."

Thacker concluded his tersely dramatic story with the fervent wish of all the Glennon's survivors- that they may be shipped together as a crew again.

The young seaman enlisted for naval duty on July 7, 1941 and first went out on overseas convoy duty in February, 1943, going back and forth ever since in the Mediterranean and Atlantic areas. He is a former employee of the Harry Leschner Auto Parts company and attended Hamilton High school.

A brother Herman Robert Thacker is also with the navy as an aviation radioman first class, but his year of overseas area of service has been in the Pacific in Pearl Harbor and New Guinea, where he was stations on shore patrol.

Thacker's sister, Mrs. Della Fuetterer, resides at 510 North Second Street. Another sister, Mrs. Edith Marie Jones, lives in Cincinnati at 6609 Plainfield pike. Their father is Charles W. Thacker, 1573 Central avenue, .

DD 620 USS Glennon
DD 620 " The USS Glennon"

more about the Glennon or other WWII information is at The Hyperwar Project

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