From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Arthur Gustafson '36

Date of birth: June 13, 1913

Date of death: February 19, 1942

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1936 Lucky Bag:


Arthur was lost when USS Peary (DD 226) was sunk in Darwin harbor, Australia, by Japanese air attack on February 19, 1942. There is an extensive history of the ship's brief wartime career, beginning with the air raid at the Cavite Navy Yard, Philippines, on December 10, 1941 and including her harrowing escape to Australia.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

From South Dakota WWII Memorial:

Arthur Leonard Gustafson, son of Martin Aldin Gustafson and Alma Gustfson, was born June 13, 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 was a 1936 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. While serving state side, Arthur married Eva Gladys Smythe on July 18, 1939 in Washington, D.C. The couple had no children.

Lt. Gustafson enlisted in the United States Navy on June 16, 1932 at Annapolis. Appointed a midshipman in June 1932, he was commissioned an ensign in 1936 and served aboard the battleships Idaho and Colorado. He was commissioned a Lieutenant in 1939 while aboard the Colorado. He reported to duty on the destroyer U.S.S. 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 on the Peary from 1939 to 1940.

Class of 1936

Arthur is one of 39 members of the Class of 1936 on Virtual Memorial Hall.