U.S.S. PearyPrint Page Print this page

02-November-2020 (Stephen Warren)
02-November-2020 (Stephen Warren)

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams / Stephen Warren

A 4 inch gun from U.S.S. Peary, pointing at the site where the ship lies wrecked, is a memorial to the 91 crew who were killed when the ship was sunk by the Japanese during the bombing of Darwin in 1942. It is the United States Navy's greatest loss of life in Australian waters.

The gun was recovered by Carl Atkinson and restored by the Royal Australian Navy.  

On 19 February 1942 Darwin experienced a massive Japanese air attack. At about 10:45, the U.S.S. Pearywas attacked by Japanese dive bombers, and was struck by five bombs. The first bomb exploded on the fantail, the second, an incendiary, on the galley deck house; the third did not explode; the fourth hit forward and set off the forward ammunition magazines; the fifth, another incendiary, exploded in the after engine room. A .30 caliber machine gun on the after deck house and a .50 caliber machine gun on the galley deck house fired until the last enemy plane flew away.

U.S.S. Peary sank stern first at about 1300 on 19 February 1942 with the loss of 91 crew. She was struck from the Navy List on 8 May 1942.


Address:Esplanade, Bicentennial Park, Darwin, 0800
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -12.462194
Long: 130.834701
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Technology
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:19-February-1942
Actual Event End Date:19-February-1942


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 29th January, 1992
Front Inscription

Plaque :

A story of sacrifice

Darwin Harbour is the resting place for the U.S. destroyer Peary sunk on 19th February 1942 by Japan`s Pearl Harbour veterans.

This 4 inch gun was salvaged from the Peary in the 1950`s by diver Carl Atkinson (dec.). It was restored by the RAN for the Northern Territory`s 1992 War Service Memorial Year and now points towards the Peary`s grave.

This plaque was unveiled by the Chief Minister the Hon. Marshall Perron MLA on 29th January 1992 in the presence of Peary survivors Dallas Widick and Melvin Duke and a colour guard from the U.S. frigate Robert E. Peary.

The wartime Peary came under repeated fire from December 1941 - February 1942. In her last action she sank with her guns still blazing and represents the U.S. Navy`s greatest loss of life in Australian waters.

Her gallant sacrifice is forever part of Darwin`s history.

Plaque :

USS Peary DD 226

In remembrance of these men who lost their lives February 19, 1942, during the bombing of Darwin, Australia by Japanese aircraft

[ Names ]

Donated by Dallis Widick, USN Survivor


Source: SKP, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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