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|37k||Arthur Leonard Gustafson, son of Martin Aldin Gustafson and Alma Gustfson, was born 13 June 1913 in Watertown, South Dakota. He grew up in Watertown and graduated
from Watertown High School in 1931. He attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and then enlisted in the United States Navy on 16 June 1932 at Annapolis, Md. Appointed
a midshipman in June 1932, he was commissioned an ensign in 1936 and served aboard the battleships Idaho and Colorado. While serving stateside, Arthur
married Eva Gladys Smythe on 18 July 1939 in Washington, D.C. The couple had no children. Lt. Gustafson was commissioned a Lieutenant in 1939 while aboard Colorado.
He reported to duty on the destroyer USS Peary in September 1939 where he served as a gunnery officer. He was appointed lieutenant for temporary service in January 1942.
Lt. Gustafson earned the China Service Medal while serving in Peary from 1939 to 1940. A hero, Lt. Gustafson died defending his ship and fellow servicemen when the Japanese
attacked Peary in Port Darwin, Australia 19 February 1942. According to a newspaper report, Lt. Gustafson refused to leave his guns under fire and was one of the last six
of Peary's crew on board when the ship went down. The Navy posthumously awarded Lt. Gustafson the Purple Heart, which was accepted by his parents. Lt. Gustafson is listed
as "Missing in Action or Buried at Sea." His name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. An example of the many brave men and women
who lost their lives defending our freedom, Lt. Gustafson was honored again by his country when the United States destroyer escort Gustafson was named and launched in his honor on 03 October 1943.
(Text respectfully submitted by Susan Stoneback, Pierre, South Dakota, 15 August 2002; from Sons and Daughters of South Dakota - State of South Dakota)
USS Gustafson (DE 182) (1943-1946) was the first ship named in his honor. (Photo from the U.S. Naval Academy Yearbook; The Lucky Bag, Class of 1936.)
|104k||undated wartime image||Nick Tiberio|
|251k||undated wartime image (Images were given to my wife's uncle, Leon F. Powers, upon leaving service in 1946 at Great Lakes, Ill.)||Paula & Steve|
|View the USS Gustafson (DE 182) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS Gustafson as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|Gustafson's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 01 Nov. 1943 - 02 Mar. 1944||Cmdr. Herman Reich, USNR (Comm. CO) (USNA ‘26) (San Bernardino, Cal.) (ret. as Radm.)|
|2.) 02 Mar. 1944 - 22 Sep. 1945||Lcdr. Ambrose Ely Chambers, USNR (New York City, N.Y.)|
|3.) 22 Sep. 1945 - 03 Jan. 1946||Lt. Thomas Hinsdale Dyer, USNR (Syracuse, N.Y.)|
|4.) 02 Apr. 1946 - 31 May 1946||Lt.(jg) Robert Otis Birkhimer, USNR (muster ends)|
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
Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.
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Page Last Updated: 26 March 2019