By Robert Sinclair Parkin
Blood at the Sea: American Destroyers misplaced in international struggle II
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Extra info for Blood on the Sea: American Destroyers Lost in World War II
The pinnacle of Peary's naval career was achieved on December 6, 1909, during his eighth Arctic expedition, when he became the first man to reach the North Pole, after covering a distance of 139 miles in five days. In between expeditions, he authored several books m which he described his experiences and scientific findings during his Arctic explorations. Revered around the world, he was the recipient of numerous awards from scientific societies in Europe and in the United Stares. On March 30, 1911, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and given the thanks of Congress.
On December 10, when the Bdtish battleship Pnnce of Wales and the battle cruiser Repulse were sunk by Japanese aircraft off the eastern coast of Malaya, Edsall was dispatched to Singapore to embark a British naval officer and four ratings, to assist in the seaxh for suMvors. By the time she adved at the site, all the men who could be found had been rescued; however, Edsall remined in the area hoping to locate any stragglers. S. Asiatic Fleet had teamed up tvith the combined Britislh, Dutch and Australian navai forces in their efforts to stem the advance of the Japanese juggernaut that was steadily overwhelming the ALtied armed forces in the Malay barrier and the Dutch East Idles, Edsall4 primary duties were to escort the shipping of evacuees from Singapore and the Indies to Australia, and to patrol those waters.
When the squadron was disbanded, Jacob Jones returned to the United States, arriving at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, on Qctober 14. With the outbreak of hostilities in Europe, she was assigned to the neutrality patrol, carvng out her apexations in Caribbean waters. Xn November 1941, her patrolling station was shifted to the waters off New England and she was still assigned to this area when the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor. After the completion of a brief yard penad, Jacacob Jones commenced her duties as a convoy escort, screening shipping through the frigid waters of the North Atlantic, On the night of February f4, 1942, she was one of the escorts shepherding Convoy HX-169 vvhen a vicious winter storm unleashed its fury upon the fornation, m e n a sornber, gray d a m began to faintly li&ten up the overcast sky, Mob fines found herself steaming alone on the heaving, mountainous seas.