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

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 1933

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: ENS Samuel Dealey '30, ENS Dewitt Shumway '32, ENS George Bellinger '32, and ENS Milton Stephens '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

October 1933

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: LTjg Samuel Dealey '30, ENS Dewitt Shumway '32, ENS George Bellinger '32, and ENS Milton Stephens '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

April 1934

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: ENS Dewitt Shumway '32, ENS George Bellinger '32, and ENS Milton Stephens '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

July 1934

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: ENS Dewitt Shumway '32, ENS George Bellinger '32, and ENS Milton Stephens '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

October 1934

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: ENS Dewitt Shumway '32 and ENS Milton Stephens '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B) and ENS George Bellinger '32 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2B).

January 1935

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: ENS Dewitt Shumway '32 and ENS Milton Stephens '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B) and ENS George Bellinger '32 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2B).

April 1935

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: ENS Milton Stephens '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

October 1935

Ensign, staff, Battleship Division 2, USS Arizona

Others at or embarked at USS Arizona: LT Robert Johnson '24 (USS Arizona), LTjg Robert Vandling '32 (USS Arizona), ENS Charles Brewer '34 (USS Arizona), and ENS John Little, III '35 (USS Arizona).

January 1936

Ensign, staff, Battleship Division 2, USS Arizona

Others at or embarked at USS Arizona: LT Robert Johnson '24 (USS Arizona), LTjg Robert Vandling '32 (USS Arizona), ENS Charles Brewer '34 (USS Arizona), and ENS John Little, III '35 (USS Arizona).

April 1936

Ensign, staff, Battleship Division 2, USS Arizona

Others at or embarked at USS Arizona: LT Robert Johnson '24 (USS Arizona), LTjg Robert Vandling '32 (USS Arizona), ENS Charles Brewer '34 (USS Arizona), and ENS John Little, III '35 (USS Arizona).

July 1936

Ensign, under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: LT Everett Abdill '24, LTjg John Hollingsworth '31, LTjg Frank Latta '32, LTjg Thomas Williamson '32, ENS Millener Thomas '33, and ENS John McMahon '34.

January 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), for assignment, 16th Naval District

April 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), staff, Submarine Squadron 5, USS Canopus

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-41

Others at this command: LTjg Joseph Bourland '33.

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-41

Others at this command: LTjg Joseph Bourland '33.

July 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-41

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-41

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-11

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-11

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-26

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-26


Class of 1933

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