ROBERT E PEARY T-AKE 5
Ship Name and Designation History
This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.
Lewis and Clark Class Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ship
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- USNS Robert E. Peary T-AKE-5 Covers Page 1 (2006-2008)
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Keel Laying - Cachet by Stephen Decatur Chapter No. 4, USCS
NAMESAKE - Rear Admiral Robert Edwin Peary, USN (6 May 1856 - 20 February 1920)
Peary was born in Cresson, PA near Pittsburgh, grew up in Maine, and graduated from Bowdoin College as a civil engineer in 1877. Peary made several expeditions to the Arctic, exploring Greenland by dog sled in 1886 and 1891 and returning to the island three times in the 1890s. Unlike many previous explorers, Peary studied Inuit survival techniques, built igloos, and dressed in practical furs in the native fashion. Peary also relied on the Inuit as hunters and dog-drivers on his expeditions, and pioneered the use of the system (which he called the "Peary system") of using support teams and supply caches for Arctic travel. His wife, Josephine, accompanied him on several of his expeditions.
Peary made several attempts to reach the North Pole between 1898 and 1905. For his final assault on the pole, he and 23 men set off from New York City aboard the "Roosevelt" under the command of Captain Robert Bartlett on 06 July 1908. They wintered near Cape Sheridan on Ellesmere Island and from there departed for the pole on 01 March 1909. The last support party turned back on 01 April 1909 in latitude 87°47' north. On the final stage of the journey to the North Pole only five of his men remained. On April 6, he established Camp Jesup near the pole. In his diary for April 7 (but actually written up much later when preparing his journals for publication), Peary wrote "The Pole at last! The prize of 3 centuries, my dream and ambition for 23 years. Mine at last..." He died in Washington, D.C. and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
The ships sponsor is RAdm. Peary's great-granddaughter, Monroe County, Fl. Circuit Court Judge Peary S. Fowler.
Four ships of the US Navy have been named in his honor - USS Peary DD-226, USS Robert E. Peary DE-132, USS Robert E. Peary FF-1073 and USNS Robert E. Peary T-AKE-5.
The Liberty ship "SS Robert E. Peary", was also named in his honor.
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