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Pierre Dey Collins was in Westfield, New Jersey, on September 2, 1905, son of the late Peter Dey and Lura (Morgan) Collins. He attended Culver (Indiana) Military School, Lawrenceville (New Jersey) School, and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. On May 7, 1938 he was commissioned Lieutenant (jg) in the Supply Corps of the US Naval Reserve and subsequently advanced in rank, attaining that of Captain, to date from July 1, 1955. On July 17, 1946 he was transferred from the US Naval Reserve to the Supply Corps of the U.S. Navy.
Ordered into active Naval Service, he reported in October 1940 as Assistant Fiscal Officer in the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Washington, DC From August 1944 to January 1945 he was assigned to the Naval Supply Corps School, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, after which he had duty afloat in the USS Chenango (CVE 28). He is entitled to the Ribbon for, and a facsimile of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded that aircraft carrier escort. The citation follows in part:
“For outstanding heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Air, ashore and afloat… attacking boldly by day and night in the face of heavy enemy resistance, the courageous officers and men of the Chenango achieved a notable record of service and aggressiveness in combat, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Returning to the United States in December 1945, he again served as Assistant Fiscal Officer in the Bureau of Aeronautics. In January 1948 he became Supply and Fiscal Officer at the Naval Ordnance Test Station, Inyokern, California, and in February 1950 reported for instruction at the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia. Completing the course there in June 1950, he then joined the staff of the Chief of Naval Air Training, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida. In January 1953 he was assigned to the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Navy Department, as Director of the Planning Division and later as a Staff Director, Director of Planning.
In addition to the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Captain Collins has the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two engagement stars; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; National Defense Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.