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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Robert E. Peary (DE 132)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - G - C - B

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - European-Africa-Middles East Campaign Medal w/1 star - World War II Victory Medal

Class: Edsall
Type: FMR (geared diesel, Fairbanks-Morse reverse gear drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1200 tons (light), 1590 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 20' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 Fairbanks-Morse Mod. 38d81/8 geared diesel engines, 4 diesel-generators, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 9,100 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 8 / 201
Robert E. Peary (DE 132) Building and Operational Data:
  • 30 June 1942: Keel laid by the Consolidated Steel Co., Orange, Tex.
  • 03 January 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Robert Edwin Peary
  • 31 May 1943: Commissioned at the Orange City Dock, Lcdr. Kerfoot B. Smith in command
  • 27 October 1945: Celebrated Navy Day at Albany, N.Y. in company with Picuda (SS 382), Sirago (SS 385), Alecto (AGP 14), LST 519, and 2 PT boats
  • 13 June 1947: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after after 4 years and ½ month of service
  • 1959: Transferred to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, James River (Va.) Group
  • 01 July 1966: Struck from the NVR
  • 06 September 1967: Sold for scrapping to the Lipsett Co., Inc., New York, N.Y.
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    Robert E. Peary
    73k Robert Edwin Peary (6 May 1856 - 20 February 1920) was born in Cresson, Pa. near Pittsburgh, grew up in Maine, and graduated from Bowdoin College as a civil engineer in 1877. Peary made several expeditions to the Arctic, exploring Greenland by dog sled in 1886 and 1891 and returning to the island three times in the 1890s. Unlike many previous explorers, Peary studied Inuit survival techniques, built igloos, and dressed in practical furs in the native fashion. Peary also relied on the Inuit as hunters and dog-drivers on his expeditions, and pioneered the use of the system (which he called the "Peary system") of using support teams and supply caches for Arctic travel. His wife, Josephine, accompanied him on several of his expeditions. He also had 8 toes amputated but kept walking.

    Peary made several attempts to reach the North Pole between 1898 and 1905. For his final assault on the pole, he and 23 men set off from New York City aboard the Roosevelt under the command of Captain Robert Bartlett on 06 July 1908. They wintered near Cape Sheridan on Ellesmere Island and from there departed for the pole on 01 March 1909. The last support party turned back on 01 April 1909 in latitude 87°47' north. On the final stage of the journey to the North Pole only five of his men, Matthew Henson, Ootah, Egigingwah, Seegloo and Ooqueah, remained. On April 6, he established Camp Jesup near the pole. In his diary for April 7 (but actually written up much later when preparing his journals for publication), Peary wrote "The Pole at last! The prize of 3 centuries, my dream and ambition for 23 years. Mine at last..." He died in Washington, D.C. on 20 February 1920 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His gravesite is topped by a huge globe on which Peary's personal credo, "I shall find a way or make one," is inscribed.

    USS Robert E. Peary (DE 132) (1943 - 1947) was the second ship named in his honor, having been preceded by DD 226 (1920 - 1942). She was succeeded by DE 1073 (1972 - 1992) and T-AKE 5 (2008 - ).       (photo and paraphrased biography from Wikipedia)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    Robert E. Peary
    129k circa 1943

    (from the collection of Ernest Arroyo)
    Jim Flynn
    HMC, USNR (ret.)
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    Robert E. Peary
    220k circa 1943
    Robert E. Peary
    382k 25 March 1944: off Brooklyn, N.Y. - Two aerial views of Robert E. Peary taken from an altitude of 300' in waters near the New York Navy Yard.

    (U.S. Navy photo #CP-DE-132 19-N-63085 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.; courtesy of  Chris Wright)

    (U.S. Navy photo #CP-DE-132 19-N-63083 from the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.; courtesy of  Chris Wright)

    Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.
    Robert E. Peary
    Robert E. Peary
    154k 30 October 1944: USS Robert E. Peary (DE 132) is shown in a starboard aerial view wearing camouflage scheme 32/3D modified. This photo was taken 50 miles south of Nantucket Island. Peary had departed the 35th Street pier at the U.S. Naval Supply Depot in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn at 13:00 to join Convoy CU45. CU45 consisted of 32 merchant ships bound for the British Isles, escorted by one destroyer and nine destroyer escorts.

    (U.S. Navy Photo #80-G-419675 from the United States National Archives)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    Robert E. Peary
    448k My father, BM2c William J. Whitehead, served in Peary between 1943 and 1945. The mast from DE 132 was salvaged back in the 1960's and apparently made its' way to what was then a new high school in Rockville, Maryland aptly named "Robert E. Peary" High School in honor of the exployer. At that time the mast and bell (now missing) were salvaged and relocated on the campus of the high school. Once the school closed in the 1980's, the mast was relocated to the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center (5110 Meadowview Dr.) in Derwood, Maryland. Today, the mast of the DE 132 (along with the accompanying plaque) is still located at the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center, where it proudly serves to display flags.

    (Photos courtesy of Shaun Donaldson, grandson of William J. Whitehead)
    Robert S. Whitehead

    Robert E. Peary History
    View the USS Robert E. Peary (DE 132) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.
    View the official War History of USS Robert E. Peary as submitted by the ship at war's end.

    Robert E. Peary's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 31 May 1943 - 09 Nov. 1943Lcdr. Kerfoot Bainbridge Smith (Comm. CO) (USNA '33) (Takoma Park, Md.)
    2.) 09 Nov. 1943 - 31 Aug. 1944Lcdr. Leslie W. Bennett, USNR (Forest Park, Ill.)
    3.) 31 Aug. 1944 - 01 Dec. 1945Lcdr. Donald McKinlay Jr., USNR (Yonkers, N.Y.)
    4.) 01 Dec. 1945 - 1946Lcdr. Mark Martin Gantar
    5.) 01 Feb. 1947 - 17 Mar. 1947Lcdr. William Clement Shreve (Decomm. CO) (USNA '42) (San Diego, Cal.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
    made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
    a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
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    Additional Resources

    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Robert E. Peary
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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 13 December 2019