LAWRENCE J. MCPEAKE, LCDR, USN
Lawrence McPeake '24
Date of birth: February 21, 1902
Date of death: March 1, 1942
From the 1924 Lucky Bag:
Lawrence was lost on March 1, 1942 when USS Pecos (AO 6) was sunk by Japanese air attack.
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.
Lawrence is listed on the Boston College Veterans Memorial; he was a member of the class of 1923 there.
He had earlier been a member of the Harvard faculty.
Unable to find a citation for the Silver Star he was posthumously awarded.
Memorial Hall Error?
Multiple listings—including his headstone—have him as a CDR; Memorial Hall has LCDR.