Colonel Peter Cuthbert volunteered for the United States Army immediately after graduating from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in 1951. He went on to serve as a platoon leader for the U.S. Army’s 89th Tank Battalion from June 1952 until March 1953 in Korea, where his unit was responsible for supporting infantry regiments on the front lines.
COL Cuthbert commanded 25 men, five tanks, a jeep and a trailer, and often shifted between infantry divisions based on demand. His battalion also spent two months serving as a support unit for a division of the Turkish Army.
Following the War, COL Cuthbert served as a “citizen soldier,” commanding National Guard Armor units in Patchogue and Bay Shore, as well as an Amphibious Truck Company in Riverhead. His commitment to service did not end there. After transferring from the National Guard, COL Cuthbert worked in the Pentagon’s United States Army Reserve operations office for 13 summers from when he retired as a Colonel after 32 years of service. In 1982, after eight years of writing, COL Cuthbert published his war memories in a book entitled Korea – Our War 1950-1953.
While he remained in an active support leadership role with the military, COL Cuthbert taught history at Westhampton Beach High School for 30 years. He coached the basketball, golf and tennis teams, and served as principal of the summer school education program. COL Cuthbert and his late wife, Nancy, raised their six children – Mary, Jane, Peter, Bill, Lynne and Lee – in Westhampton Beach. The couple eventually moved back to East Moriches.