Chief Machinist's Mate James E. Pike sunk in Darwin Harbour in USS Peary, 19th. of February 1942
The old USS Peary, a four stack destroyer built in the 1920's was attacked by Japanese dive bombers and sunk in Darwin Harbour on the 19th. of February 1942.
USS Peary, sunk in Japanese air raid on Darwin Australia, 19th. February 1942.
From her crew of 143 Officers and Sailors only 53 survived, and 12 of these were rescued by the small examination vessel HMAS Southern Cross. Onwards to 1997, when in the Sydney branch of the Australian National Archives a small note turned up inside the log of HMAS Southern Cross.
This note, scribbled on a scrap of paper was written by Chief Machinist's Mate James E. Pike, it is reproduced here with the approval of author John Bradford who has published it in his book: "In the Highest Traditions. RAN Heroism at Darwin." on page 72. James was saying thank you on behalf of the 12 who were picked up by the small RAN ship.
Cover of John Bradford's Book.
Although John has manfully tried to track down the family of this US sailor from USS Peary, so that he might pass on to them this small piece of family history, he has been completely thwarted by US Navy officialdom, and could not elicit any response from USN personnel sources at all.
Should by chance any member of the Pike family in the US or for that matter any friends see this note, may I request that they E-Mail me with any contact address, so that I might pass it on to John, for him to take the appropriate action.
My thanks in advance.
USS Peary on fire and sinking in Darwin Harbour 19th. February 1942.