THOMAS V. PETERS, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Thomas Peters '33

Date of birth: August 6, 1909

Date of death: January 25, 1942

Age: 32

Lucky Bag

From the 1933 Lucky Bag:

Biography

1933 Peters 1.jpg

From the 1953 edition of the book "Double Three Roundup", published by the class of 1933:

Upon graduation Tommy reported to the NEVADA. In 1935 he entered the pleasant state of matrimony accompanied by Adeline Pierceall of Long Beach, California. The same year he was ordered to the Staff of Commander Battleship Division 2, serving under Admiral Pettengill in the ARIZONA. A year later he decided to try for a more independent type of duty in which greater responsibility came sooner to a junior officer. He volunteered for submarine duty and upon completing the course of instruction was ordered to the S-41 which was then operating with the Asiatic Fleet in the China area. In 1939 he returned to the U.S. to join the New London Indians as an officer in the R-11.

On June 13, 1940 Tommy recommissioned the S-26 as executive officer and after a period in New London sailed to the Canal Zone. The S-26 was sunk in a collision with an e scorting converted yacht while proceeding on the surface on the night of January 24, 1942 off Panama. Only three of the S-26's personnel, who were on the bridge were saved. Tommy was one of those trapped below. The disaster occurred while the S-26 was proceeding from Balboa to it's patrol station in company with the S-21, S-29, and S-44 and escort vessel PC-460. At 2210 the escort vessel sent a visual message to the submarines that she was leaving formation and that they could proceed to the duty assigned. S-21 was the only submarine to receive this message. Shortly thereafter, the PC-460 struck the S-26 on the starboard side of the torpedo room and the submarine sank within a few seconds. Salvage operations were started immediately and attempts at rescue were made but without success. The submarine was not raised. She had previously made one war patrol but had inflicted no damage on the enemy.

Tommy is survived by his widow, who is now married to Lieutenant Commander Carl B. Hibben, and by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Peters of Minitare, Nebraska.

Loss

Thomas was lost on January 25, 1942 when USS S-26 (SS 131) sank following a collision with USS Sturdy (PC 460) near Panama.

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

Career

From Fleet Organization:

  • Executive Officer USS S-41 (SS-146) 1 Apr 1939 - 1 Jul 1939
  • Duty Submarine Squadron Five 1 Jul 1939
  • Duty USS R-11 (SS-88) 1 Oct 1939
  • Executive Officer USS S-26 (SS-131) 1940 - Jan 1942
  • Acting Captain USS S-26 (SS-131) 31 Dec 1940 and 31 Oct 1941
  • Lieutenant (j.g.) 1 Jun 1936
  • Lieutenant 1 Apr 1941


Class of 1933

Thomas is one of 38 members of the Class of 1933 in Memorial Hall.