Tuesday, August 30, 2016

SGT Peter Jacob Swayze

courtesy of Diane

SGT Peter Jacob Swayze was born 18 Jun 1921 in Newark, New Jersey. He was the youngest of 7 children born to John Lowrance and Eva (Couse) Swayze. Peter's father had been personal secretary to Governor Franklin Murphy of New Jersey, Assistant Attorney General of New Jersey, and was General Counsel of the New York Telephone Company when he died of a heart attack in August 1922. Peter was just over 1-year old. The family must have been financially comfortable as Eva did not work but Peter's older siblings all got the benefit of a higher education with one brother attending Harvard and another attending Princeton. The family suffered a great tragedy in January 1933 when Peter's brothers, Henry, Robert and Richard were drowned while skating after falling through the ice. Peter graduated high school and was then accepted at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was living at 106 Long Hall at the university when he registered for the draft. 

It wasn't much later that Peter volunteered for service, enlisting in the army. He was eventually sent to England and on 15 Jul 1944 PFC Swayze was transferred from the replacement depot to F Company 116th Infantry which was in the vicinity of Saint-Lo, France. He fought with the unit through the Vire campaign and was promoted to SGT on 21 Aug 1944. Still serving with the regiment began the campaign to liberate Brest and was killed in action on 30 Aug 1944. 

SGT Swayze was repatriated in 1948 and re-interred in the Newton Cemetery in Newton, New Jersey.

Brother, Joseph Couse Swayze, served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during WW2. Grandfather, Joseph P. Couse, served in 3 companies of the 33rd New Jersey Infantry (USA) during the Civil War completing his service as a CPT.

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