1934, Clarence E. "Pete" Pedersen joined the Geodetic Mountain Triangulation
Party which was operating in California and was led by Lieutenant
Charles Pierce. The party was doing 1st Order Triangulation in the
Southwestern states and Oregon. Pete performed duties as a lightkeeper,
truck driver, recorder and was breaking in as an instrument observer
when the lack of funding ended the project in Oregon.
In the spring of 1936, Pete joined the Coast and
Geodetic Survey Ship WESTDAHL which was under assignment to accomplish
hydrographic and triangulation surveys in Alaska. During the winter
months, surveying projects were accomplished in Puget Sound, Washington.
During the Second World War years, Pete saw the Coast and Geodetic
Survey vessels armed, and he was engaged in work in Southeast Alaska
and along the Alaska Peninsula. The work was principally performed
for the U.S. Navy.
Over the years, Pete advanced through the rates of
Seaman, Quartermaster, Bos'n Mate and Chief Bos'n. After 11 years
before the mast, marriage deemed it fitting that Pete cease his wanderings.
He transferred to the Coast and Geodetic Survey's Cartographic Office
in Seattle, Washington. The office compiled hydrographic survey records
into "Smooth Sheets" which were the final engineering manuscripts
from which nautical charts were made in the Washington, D.C., office.
In 1957, Pete took charge of the Coast and Geodetic
Survey's Seattle Ship Base in Lake Union. During this time, Pete
pursued the acquisition of the now famous Pacific Marine Center Totem
Pole which was dedicated in 1962. Pete served under many Seattle District
Office Captains until he was appointed in 1962 as the Inspector of
Construction for the new Pacific Marine Center. Pete was instrumental
in helping design the new center and oversaw the move of all the vessels
and equipment when the facility was completed.
39 years of dedicated service, C. E. "Pete" Pedersen retired in 1973.
Thanks to Pete's initiative and persistence, Coast and Geodetic Survey
personnel were finally recognized for their World War II service by
the Department of Defense and were accorded Veterans status in 1991.
Pete often remarks that he is only remembered for his cartoons, and
not his service to the Coast and Geodetic Survey. The "Old Timers"
know better. Please now enjoy Pete's great artwork depicting times
and places in his career with the Survey.