Robert L. Petersen

NAME
Robert Lowell Petersen
NICKNAME
Pete
SERVICE NUMBER
O-7081
HOME OF RECORD
5736 North Rockwell Street, Chicago, IL
NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Anne H. Petersen
DATE OF BIRTH
August 30, 1920
ENTERED SERVICE
1941
DATE OF LOSS
January 2, 1943
REGION
Solomons
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Rendova
CASUALTY TYPE
MIA / Declared Dead
February 19, 1945
UNIT
VMF-121
DUTY
Pilot
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Captain Robert “Pete” Petersen was a Marine fighter pilot serving with the Cactus Air Force. He arrived on Guadalcanal as a member of VMF-122 on 22 December 1942, and transferred to VMF-121 on 1 January 1943.

On 2 January 1943, Petersen was assigned to a escort a dive bomber strike against a reported Japanese destroyer fleet. The ships were spotted about fifteen miles west of Rendova, covered by fighters of the 204th kokutai. Although the bombers made their dives, the seasoned IJN pilots scattered the American escort. Two Marine flyers – Petersen and Second Lieutenant Youell “Joe” Crum – never returned to base.

Captain Petersen and F4F-4 Bureau Number 5169 were never seen again. The pilot was declared dead on 19 February 1945.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Captain
posthumous Major
STATUS OF REMAINS
Not recovered.
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.


Articles and Records:


Photo Gallery:

Robert Petersen (circled) with VMF-121 in January, 1943 – a day or so before his last flight.

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