LIEUTENANT COMMANDER FRANK JAMES PETERSON was the son of Frank H. and Martha Peterson. His father was merchant sea captain, was born in Maine of an old Maine family in 1875. His mother was born in Scotland in 1881 and came to the USA in 1897. The Petersons married in 1905. Frank Peterson was born in Pennsylvania in 1905, his brother John a year later. By the late 1920s the family had purchased a house at 716 Richey Avenue in Collingswood NJ. Frank Peterson graduated from Collingswood High School in 1929, where he had played on the school football team in 1926 and 1927. He had entered service in the United States Naval Reserve around 1940, probably through the air training offered by the Civil Aeronautics Training program, and had received training at Annapolis MD and Pensacola FL.
Lieutenant Commander Frank Peterson was awarded the Air Medal in 1943. It was reported in the August 24, 1943 edition of the Camden Courier-Post that he was awarded the Air Medal, and was senior flying officer aboard the USS SAN FRANCISCO.
Sqaudron 77 (VC-77), Lt. Commander Peterson embarked on the escort
carrier USS RUDYERD BAY
CVE-81 in August of 1944 at the island of Majuro. On 8 August, RUDYERD
BAY headed west. At Eniwetok, she joined TG 30.8, the fast
carrier forces' replenishment group, with which she arrived at Manus on
On February 19, 1945 Lieutenant Commander Frank Peterson was leading attack Squadron VC77 as commanding officer on one of the first aerial attacks on Iwo Jima after the invasion when his plane (TBM-1C Avenger, BuNo 73254) was hit, presumably by anti-aircraft fire, as it began its attack run. His plane hit the water, and sank immediately.
Frank James Peterson was survived by his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Edmunds Peterson, of 653 North 2nd Street, Lykens PA, and his brother John.
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