George William Grider
October 1, 1912 - March 20, 1991
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.
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 2, 1942.
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 the submarine.
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 the FLASHER.
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.