This collection mainly documents Rear Admiral Greene's Naval service, but there is also some information concerning his education as an adult and his post-Navy career.
Materials related to his undergraduate education at East Carolina Teachers College (now East Carolina University) in Greenville, North Carolina, include his Who's Who certificate for the 1942/43 year and a letter he wrote to fellow alumni in 1968 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his graduation class.
Documents related to his education while serving in the U.S. Navy include official paperwork, graduation programs, and an undated listing of alumni with contact information for his time (1943) at the U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School (Northwestern University, Chicago, IL); papers written while attending the Naval War College, Command and Staff Class (1959); class notes, papers, book reports, exam, and transcript for the Program in International Affairs at George Washington University (1965-1967); and course material, catalog, graduation program, and his thesis titled The Influence of Data Systems on the Industro-Economic Posture of Soviet Russia (1967) from his time (1965-1968) at Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Leslie J. McNair, washington, DC.
The majority of the material in this collection documents Greene's Naval career from his commissioning as an ensign in December 1943 through his retirement in 1973. Included are correspondence; biographical sketches; clippings; awards and certificates; and paperwork documenting duty assignments, changes of command, travel orders, vouchers, physical examination reports, oaths of office, qualification reports, records of duties performed, leave requests, and authorization forms; and retirement-related documents. Correspondence is limited and often consists of casual thank-you letters (1960-1967) and congratulatory letters (1970) concerning Greene attaining the rank of Rear Admiral. An August 6, 1945, letter contains a descriptive narrative of a typical voyage of a ship (name not mentioned) carrying occupation troops in the South Pacific. 1970 correspondence also discusses Greene's appointment as Director of Navy Recruiting and the gearing up to start an all-volunteer Navy.
Awards and certificates reward Greene for duty during World War II (1946), and also inclued the Vietnam Service Medal (1968-1969), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (1968-1969), Bronze Star (1969), and the Legion of Merit (1972). Clippings (1958-1973) mostly document Greene's service and the ships he commanded. The
Navy Recruiter issue of June 1972 contains an article on the change of command ceremony from Rear Admiral Greene to Admiral E. H. Tidd as commander of the Navy Recruiting Command in April 1972. A very interesting item in this collection is sheet music for a piece titled
The Destroyermen written by William and Virginia Greene in 1958 for the Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. His retirement file contains correspondence, regulations, and forms related to his appointment as rear admiral and his retirement in 1973. Also included are autographed letters from Secretaries of the Navy John W. Warner and John H. Chafee, and also from Admiral E. R. Zumwalt, Jr.
Other material related to Greene's Naval Service includes materials concerning specific ships he commanded and/or served on, a seminar he gave that led to an award nomination, and speeches. Material concerning specific ships includes a list (1945-1946) of travels and "situations" the USS
Hanover had experienced since its commissioning, Westpac Newsletter issues (November 1967-January 1968, April and May 1968) for the USS
Ponchatoula, a booklet and clippings (1958) about the USS
Tabberer, and Crossing the Line initiation ceremony documents for the USS
William H. Standley (1969). Greene led a Navy Recruiting Executive Development Seminar at Ohio State University in 1971 that led to a nomination of him for the Freedoms Foundation Award; the scrapbook sent forward for the nomination is found here.
This collection contains several speeches that Greene gave in 1972 and 1973 as well as undated speeches and speech material. The speeches were given at change of command occasions, the decommissioning/transfer of the USS
Willard Keith, the commissioning of Coastal River Division 21, and to various groups with topics concerning the Navy's mission, the inportance of the Cruiser-Destroyer force to sea control, and "Environmental Hindrances to Navy Combat Readiness." Also included is a speech (1972) by Admiral E. R. Zumwalt, Jr., addressing the need for the NROTC and the importance of encouraging more units at predominantly black schools and encouraging the recruitment of more women in the Navy.
There are several photographs related to his Naval service and to his time with the North Carolina State Ports Authority after he retired from the Navy. Topics include official Navy portraits of Greene, officers aboard the USS
Tabberer, N.C. States Ports Authority business, and the North Carolina World Trade Association meeting (1985?) at the Marriott Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., which includes shots of Henry Kissinger, and N.C. Governor James Hunt.
The remainder of the collection deals with Greene's post-Naval career time at the North Carolina State Ports Authority (1977-1985). Included is correspondence mostly related to his retirement and praise for his tenure, and retirement documents. Clippings discuss issues related to improvements at and the development of the Morehead City Port and the Wilmington Port, visits to Japan and Taiwan, and opposing President Reagan's budget cuts that make states pay for dredging waterways. A January 8, 1978, clipping has Greene as Tar Heel of the Week in the Raleigh
News and Observer paper. Personal clippings include 1971-1972 Raleigh
News and Observer columns "Byways of the News" by Charles Craven which talk about Greene as a student at East Carolina Teachers College where both Craven and Greene were classmates.
At the end of the collection are Greene's personal copies of the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings for July 1959-June 1962, Vol. 85 Nos. 7-12, Vol. 86, Vol. 87, and Vol. 88, Nos. 1-6. During this time Greene held such positions in the U.S. Naval Institute as the secretary-treasurer, on the Board of Control, and editor of the Proceedings.
Oversize items include an appeal presented by the Korean Labour Union of Chemulpo, Korea, to Greene on September 9, 1945, as Boat Group Commander in USS
Hanover, part of the U.S. Amphibious Force of occupation troops; deck logs for USS
Tabberer (Jan. 1, 1958) and USS
Mitscher (June 17, 1957); and a certificate naming Greene as honorary member of Coastal River Division Twenty-One (1973).