Last Update: November 16, 2020

A Tribute Honoring

Arizona World War II Submarine Veteran

Ira Noble Gregg, EMC(SS)


Barbeau, Michigan

    Ira Noble Gregg was born on 6 November 1905 in Barbeau, Bruce Township, Chippewa County, Michigan to Adam Wesley and Nellie Jones Gregg.  Adam was earning a living as a farmer when Ira was born; the couple's fourth of seven sons they raised in the family. There is not too much information about Ira's teen years.  Sources of information reflect that he could have enlisted in the Navy as early as 1923 at the age of 18.  Newspaper records reflect that on 3 May 1931, Ira (age 26 and residing at Pearl Harbor) married Helen Louise Howell (age 21 residing in Honolulu) at Queen Emma Square, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii.

    On 4 April 1932, Shirley Ann Gregg the couple's only daughter was born in Glendale, California. 

   The earliest Navy muster reports found for Ira indicate that he may have reenlisted in the Navy on 7 April 1932 in Los Angeles, California and his rate/rating was identified as an EM1 at the time.  These reports offer information only from 1938 through 1949, and what Ira did between 1932 and 1939 is unknown except for that single entry. His first known ship assignment was the Florida class dreadnaught battleship USS Utah when it was designated AG-16.  Ira was an Electrician's Mate First Class Petty Officer when he reported on board the Utah which was reportedly being used for target practice in January 1939.   The Navy's Muster Reports indicate Ira was then transferred from the Utah to the battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) on 9 February 1939. While aboard the Maryland, he reenlisted for four years on 7 April 1939 and was later transfered to Naval Receiving Station, Boston, Massachusetts for duty.  

   On 19 September 1939, Ira, now a Chief Electrician's Mate, became a Plankowner of the new construction Benham destroyer USS Mayrant (DD-402) as part of the commissioning crew. Ira remained on board the Mayrant until 1941 and was transferred to Commander Submarine Division 43 for assignment to duty.  He wasthen transferred to the Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut and was assigned to the new construction Gato class submarine named, USS Runner (SS-275).  After its commissioning, Runner left the Atlantic Ocean and headed to the Pacific Ocean where it conducted its 1st combat war patrol from 18 January 1943 to 7 March 1943.  On 1 April 1943, Runner departed Pearl Harbor for its 2nd combat war patrol.  It returned from that patrol on 6 May 1943 and two weeks later, departed Midway Island on 27 May 1943 for its 3rd patrol and unfortunately, its last.  Runner with 78 men on board under the command of Lieutenant Commander Joseph H. Bourland, USN were lost at-sea on 11 July 1943 north of Hokkaido, Japan. 

     During his career, Ira received the Bronze Star.  No records have been found to support or describe the reason for the award. 


Runner Ship's Patch USS Runner (SS-275) Runner Loss Location


  More information about Runner and the names of its crewmembers, go to the following link:

  The source of the above plaque is  Note, the service entry reflects 1923 - 1943. 
   Ira's wife, Helen Louise Howell Gregg, died in 1988 while residing in Phoenix, Arizona.  Ira and Helen's only daughter, Shirley, passed away in 2004. 


Click here to join the ASSM email list. 

Like what you see here, tell us about it! Click here.


Copyright © 2015 through 2020

Website developed and maintained by Ray Olszewski USS TUNNY (SSG-282) 1958-1962 Boat Yeoman YN1(SS) and IS1(SS) USSVI Life Member and Author of USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute and Memoir.