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|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)
(from the collection of Ernest Arroyo)
HMC, USNR (ret.)
|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)
|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)
Port Angeles, Wash.
|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. 1943||Lcdr. Kerfoot Bainbridge Smith (Comm. CO) (USNA '33) (Takoma Park, Md.)|
|2.) 09 Nov. 1943 - 31 Aug. 1944||Lcdr. Leslie W. Bennett, USNR (Forest Park, Ill.)|
|3.) 31 Aug. 1944 - 01 Dec. 1945||Lcdr. Donald McKinlay Jr., USNR (Yonkers, N.Y.)|
|4.) 01 Dec. 1945 - 1946||Lcdr. Mark Martin Gantar|
|5.) 01 Feb. 1947 - 17 Mar. 1947||Lcdr. William Clement Shreve (Decomm. CO) (USNA '42) (San Diego, Cal.)|
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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