LAWRENCE J. MCPEAKE, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Lawrence McPeake '24

Date of birth: February 21, 1902

Date of death: March 1, 1942

Age: 40

Lucky Bag

From the 1924 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Lawrence was lost on March 1, 1942 when USS Pecos (AO 6) was sunk by Japanese air attack.

From Wikipedia:

Executive Officer Lt. Commander Lawrence J. McPeake (Annapolis Class of 1924-Posthumously promoted to Commander after the war) was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for valor for his actions aboard Pecos. After the order to abandon ship was given by the ship's Captain, … Lt. Commander McPeake was seen engaging Japanese warplanes (Aichi D3A1 "Val" dive bombers) which were machine-gunning and strafing survivors in the sea. By some crewmembers' accounts, he was reported to have made it off of the ship after it went down. Others reported him last being seen manning the machine gun. In fact, he did swim away from the vessel as it was going down with one other officer from the crew. However, his body was never recovered and he was eventually listed as Killed In Action after the War. A bridge in Milton, Massachusetts was named in honor of him.

His wife was listed as next of kin. He has a memory marker in Massachusetts.

Lawrence is listed on the Boston College Veterans Memorial; he was a member of the class of 1923 there.

Career

He had earlier been a member of the Harvard faculty.

Silver Star

Unable to find a citation for the Silver Star he was posthumously awarded.


Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1924

Ensign, USS Utah


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September 1924

Ensign, USS Utah


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November 1924

Ensign, USS Utah

January 1925

Ensign, USS Utah

March 1925

Ensign, USS Utah

May 1925

Ensign, under instruction, Edgewood Arsenal

July 1925

Ensign, USS Childs

October 1925

Ensign, USS Childs

January 1926

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island

October 1926

Ensign, USS Converse


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January 1927

Ensign, USS Converse


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April 1927

Ensign, USS Converse


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October 1927

Ensign, USS Utah


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January 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Utah


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April 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Utah

July 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Utah


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October 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Utah


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April 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cleveland

July 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cleveland

October 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cleveland

January 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Pensacola

April 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Pensacola


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October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Pensacola


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January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Pensacola


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April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Pensacola


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July 1934

Lieutenant, USS Whitney


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October 1934

Lieutenant, USS Whitney


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January 1935

Lieutenant, USS Whitney


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April 1935

Lieutenant, communications officer, USS Whitney


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October 1935

Lieutenant, communications officer, USS Whitney

January 1936

Lieutenant, USS Tillman


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April 1936

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Leary

July 1936

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Leary

January 1937

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Leary

April 1937

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Leary

September 1937

Lieutenant, ROTC instructor, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


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January 1938

Lieutenant, ROTC instructor, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


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July 1938

Lieutenant, ROTC instructor, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


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January 1939

Lieutenant, ROTC instructor, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


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October 1939

Lieutenant Commander, USS Pecos

June 1940

Lieutenant Commander, USS Pecos


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November 1940

Lieutenant Commander, USS Pecos


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April 1941

Lieutenant Commander, USS Pecos


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Class of 1924

Lawrence is one of 42 members of the Class of 1924 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.