Captain George William Grider
October 1, 1912 - March 20, 1991
George William Grider was born on October
1, 1912 in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of the late Lieutenant John MacGavock
Grider, U.S. Army (killed in action, World War I) and Mrs. Marguerite (Samuels)
Grider. He attended University School and Southwestern University,
Memphis, Tennessee before his appointment, at large, to the U.S. Naval
Academy, Annapolis, Maryland in 1932. While at the Academy he was
a member of the Swimming Team; Captain of the Water Polo Team; Editor of
the "Log"; Vice President of the Class of 1936 and received a Letter of
Commendation from the Superintendent of the Naval Academy. He was
graduated and commissioned Ensign on June 4, 1936.
Following graduation he had consecutive duty aboard
the USS MISSISSIPPI and USS RATHBURNE. In 1939, he had instruction
at the Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut and upon completion of the
course, reported for duty in December 1939 aboard the USS SKIPJACK.
On May 31, 1941 he was transferred to Submarine Division SEVEN, as Engineer
Officer (designation changed to Submarine Division FORTY-ONE a day after
he reported) and while in the above duty he had temporary duty as an instructor
at the West Coast Sound School, San Diego, California from May 31, to March
He reported to the Navy Yard, Mare Island, California
on March 11, 1942 in connection with fitting out the USS WAHOO and was
assigned duty aboard upon her commissioning on May 15, 1942. For
duty aboard the WAHOO he was awarded the Silver Star Medal and is entitled
to the ribbon for, and a facsimile of, the Presidential Unit Citation awarded
Lieutenant Grider served as Executive Officer of
the USS POLLACK from February to November 1943. He then reported
to the Manitowoc Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
in connection with fitting out the USS HAWKBILL. He sailed aboard
that submarine from her commissioning on May 17, 1944 until October 1944,
receiving a Bronze Star Medal for his services and a promotion to Commander.
Upon detachment from the USS HAWKBILL, Commander
Grider assumed command of the USS FLASHER on October 31, 1944. In
company with the USS HAWKBILL and the USS BECUNA, FLASHER set out upon
her Fifth War Patrol as a Coordinated Search and Attack Group, sinking
four ten thousand ton tankers and one seventeen hundred ton destroyer.
For her Sixth War Patrol, the FLASHER, in company with the USS BASHAW,
sank one twenty-five thousand ton freighter, one seventy-five ton sea truck
and two fifty ton luggers. He was relieved of command of the USS
FLASHER in March 1946 and for his service as Commanding Officer of that
submarine was awarded the Navy Cross. He was also entitled to the
ribbon for, and a facsimile of, the Presidential Unit Citation awarded
In April 1946, he assumed command of the USS CUBERA
from her captain, Roger W. Paine, Jr., and commanded her until September
1947. Following a heart attack, Commander Grider elected to retire
from active duty. On December 1, 1947 he was transferred to the Retired
List of the U.S. Navy in the rank of Captain. In addition to the
aforementioned awards, he also earned three Letters of Commendation which
authorized him to wear the Commendation Ribbon with two bronze stars as
well as the American Defense Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal
and the World War II Victory Medal.
Following his retirement, Captain Grider earned
a law degree from the University of Virginia. His wartime memoirs,
co-authored with Lydel Sims, were published in 1958 under the title War
Fish. In 1964 he was elected to the 89th Congress as Representative
from the State of Tennessee. He served one term and was unseated
in 1966. He continued to practice law in Memphis until his retirement.
George W. Grider died on March 20, 1991 at the age of 78.