Eugene Allen Green was born in Smithtown, New York on 21 November 1921to John and Mary Greene. He was a 1936 graduate of St. Francis Prep School, Brooklyn, New York. Gene entered Rhode Island State College (RISC) in September 1936 with the class of 1940. He was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity, Editor of the Beacon, Editor of the Grist, member of the Baseball, Basketball and Football Teams and Captain of the Golf Team. He was voted by his senior class as the student who did the most for RISC. Gene participated in the Army ROTC program for two years. He graduated from RISC with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education.
Gene enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve on 13 January 1941. He attended air cadet training at Floyd Bennet Field, New York; aviation training at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida; advanced aviation training at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, Texas and Advanced Carrier Landing Training, Norfolk, Virginia. He was commissioned an Ensign, U.S. Navy Reserve on 30 August 1941.
On 11 March 1942, Ensign Greene was assigned to Bombing Squadron Six on board the U.S. Naval Aircraft Carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6), “The Big E.” The USS Enterprise (CV-6) had been operating in the Pacific since April 1939. The ship was returning to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu on the morning of 7 December 1941 when it received news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Enterprise became one of the first ships to respond to its nation’s call to war and went on to earn 20 battle stars, the most for any U.S. warship in World War II, for the crucial roles it played in numerous battles including Midway, Guadalcanal, Leyte Gulf, and the “Doolittle Raid” on Tokyo.
On 4 June 1942, Ensign Eugene Michael Green, U.S. Navy was He was shot down and classified as Missing in Action. For his heroic actions, he was cited for bravery during the Battle of Midway and awarded the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart (Posthumously).
Navy Cross Citation
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Eugene Allen Greene (0-104131) Ensign, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving on a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber of Bombing Squadron Six (VB-6), embarked from the U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6), during the “Air Battle of Midway”, against enemy Japanese forces on 4-6 June 1942…
Defying extreme danger from concentrated anti-aircraft barrage and powerful fighter opposition, Ensign Greene, with bold determination and courageous zeal, participated in dive-bombing assaults against Japanese naval units. Flying at a distance from his own forces which rendered return unlikely because of probable exhaustion, he pressed home his attacks with extreme disregard for his own personal safety. His gallant intrepidity and loyal devotion to duty contributed greatly to the success of our forces and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
On 10 July 1944, the USS Eugene A. Greene (DD/DDR-711) a Gearing-class destroyer of the United States Navy was named in honor of Ensign Eugene A. Greene (1921–1942) who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism in the Battle of Midway. The USS Eugene A. Greene was launched on 8 March 1945 and christened by his widow Anita M. Greene on 8 June 1945. Ensign Eugene A. Greene is a heroic member of the “Greatest Generation.”