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:

1933 Peters LB.jpg

THOMAS VIDETTE PETERS

Minatare, Nebraska

"Pete" "Tom"

Four years ago to two-gun Pete the North Platte was a mighty barrier. But in the memorable rush of 1919 (eight Nebraska men entered the Academy that year) Pete heard the call "Come East, young man," packed his bag, left his little grey home in the West midst the sand hills of the Sioux country and headed toward the rising sun.

Today that bold, bad man is no more. The influences of travel and the Navy have done their "derndest." He no longer has coyotes and wolves for pals, no longer yearns for saddle and spur, but for wine, women, and the movies, the latter being his greatest weakness; he no longer likes to talk with the stars, but now curses them for the work they make for him. But certain Western traits linger with him still. He is a "big shot" with the women, and true to his memory of the pony stages he was a member of the Stage Gang.

But seriously, behold the man; first a gentleman of the finest sense; intelligent, but honest; energetic and quick to make friends and keep them. Pete will make a good officer in any man's navy. Good luck to you, pal!

Stage Gang 4, 3, 2, 1; 2 P. O.

1933 Peters LB.jpg

THOMAS VIDETTE PETERS

Minatare, Nebraska

"Pete" "Tom"

Four years ago to two-gun Pete the North Platte was a mighty barrier. But in the memorable rush of 1919 (eight Nebraska men entered the Academy that year) Pete heard the call "Come East, young man," packed his bag, left his little grey home in the West midst the sand hills of the Sioux country and headed toward the rising sun.

Today that bold, bad man is no more. The influences of travel and the Navy have done their "derndest." He no longer has coyotes and wolves for pals, no longer yearns for saddle and spur, but for wine, women, and the movies, the latter being his greatest weakness; he no longer likes to talk with the stars, but now curses them for the work they make for him. But certain Western traits linger with him still. He is a "big shot" with the women, and true to his memory of the pony stages he was a member of the Stage Gang.

But seriously, behold the man; first a gentleman of the finest sense; intelligent, but honest; energetic and quick to make friends and keep them. Pete will make a good officer in any man's navy. Good luck to you, pal!

Stage Gang 4, 3, 2, 1; 2 P. O.

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 escorting 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 or embarked at this command:
ENS Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B)
October 1933
Ensign, USS Nevada


Others at or embarked at this command:
ENS Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B)
April 1934
Ensign, USS Nevada


Others at or embarked at this command:
ENS Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B)
July 1934
Ensign, USS Nevada


Others at or embarked at this command:
ENS Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B)
October 1934
Ensign, USS Nevada


Others at or embarked at this command:
LTjg Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B)
ENS George Bellinger '32 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2B)
January 1935
Ensign, USS Nevada


Others at or embarked at this command:
LTjg Charles Crommelin '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B)
ENS George Bellinger '32 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2B)
April 1935
Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command:

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:
January 1936
Ensign, staff, Battleship Division 2, USS Arizona

Others at or embarked at USS Arizona:
April 1936
Ensign, staff, Battleship Division 2, USS Arizona

Others at or embarked at USS Arizona:
July 1936
Ensign, under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

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:
January 1938
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-41

Others at this command:
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.

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