He registered for the WW II draft on 1 July 1941, employed by the town of Fairfield, Connecticut, and described himself as 5’9”, 145 bs, with red hair and hazel eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Hartford, Connecticut, on 18 December 1941. He was trained the maintenance and operation of the radar equipment on the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to the 20thAir Force and moved to an advance airfield in China. He and his crew departed for assignment to 20th Air Force in India on 10 April 1944 and to the advance airfield in China 19 April 1944. In addition to flying “the Hump,” the 468th Bomb Group B-29 aircraft bombed the enemy in Bangkok, (Siam) Thailand 5 June 1944, mined enemy shipping lanes near Saigon (French Indochina – Annam), Vietnam, and bombed enemy targets in Burma, Siam, Annam, Shanghai, China, Formosa (Taiwan) and Japan. The 468th Bomb Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its bombing raid on 11 August 1944 of the iron/steel works, Yawata, Japan. B-29 # 42-6362 flew 27 bombing missions before her last before her last on 21 November 1944. B-29, 42-6362, made a heavy-weight take-off at night without landing lights. Airborne, it climbed to about 200 feet, and slowly descended until almost out of sight from the ATC tower. It then made a sudden climbing turn to the left, climed to about 300 feet, then made a diving turn into the ground. It burst into flames when it crashed. The tail gunner was able to escape through his hatch and suffered third degree burns on his scalp and hands. All others were killed. Investigation revealed the B-29 had flown into four trees which were about 35 feet high. After recovery from China, his remains were buried in the Saint Michaels Cemetery, Stratford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut.

PETERSON, RICHARD JAMES, Staff Sergeant, # 17153902, USAAF

 

Richard J. Peterson was born on 10 July 1922 in Minnesota to Richard James Peterson (1894-1959) and Mabel E. (Joseph) Peterson (1894-1971). Siblings included Jeanette “Jeni” Ann (Peterson) Schotta (1928-2011) and Suzanne Peterson (1936-    ). In 1940 living with them was Mabel’s bother, George Joseph (1865-    ) (widowed).

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 30 June 1942, employed by Red Wing, Goodhue, Minnesota, and described himself as 6’, 160 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. After enlisting, he was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment on the B-29 Superfortress. He was sent overseas to the 20thAir Force and moved to an advance airfield in China. He and his crew departed for assignment to 20th Air Force in India on 10 April 1944 and to the advance airfield in China 19 April 1944. In addition to flying “the Hump,” the 468th Bomb Group B-29 aircraft bombed the enemy in Bangkok, (Siam) Thailand 5 June 1944, mined enemy shipping lanes near Saigon (French Indochina – Annam), Vietnam, and bombed enemy targets in Burma, Siam, Annam, Shanghai, China, Formosa (Taiwan) and Japan. The 468th Bomb Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its bombing raid on 11 August 1944 of the iron/steel works, Yawata, Japan. B-29 # 42-6362 flew 27 bombing missions before her last before her last on 21 November 1944. B-29, 42-6362, made a heavy-weight take-off at night without landing lights. Airborne, it climbed to about 200 feet, and slowly descended until almost out of sight from the ATC tower.