September 1941

US and World Events plus Additional Resources


On September 4, 1941, the Navy announced that the U.S.S. Greer, a destroyer, had been fired on by a submarine, en route to Iceland. The U.S. Atlantic fleet had been reinforced with warships from the Pacific and was convoying Lend-Lease supplies. The same day, a U.S. tanker reached Vladivostok with gasoline for the Russians. (The first convoy of U.S. and British supplies for Russia’s armies reached Murmanek by the northern route within two months after the German attack on Russia.

Read the full transcript of the press conference FDR gave after the attack at the FDR Presidential Library’s digital archive. The September 5 transcript starts on page 43.

On September 9, 1941, Hitler implied that the Greer had dropped the first depth bombs on a German submarine, prompting further defensive attack. He accused President Roosevelt of “endeavoring with all the means at his disposal to provoke incidents for the purpose of baiting the American people into the war,” and called FDR “a calloused liar and betrayer of his people.”