PETERSON, HARRY HOLLINGSWORTH, First Lieutenant, # 0-862249, USAAF

 

Harry H. Peterson was born on 28 July 1920 in Millvile, Cumberand Co., New Jersey, to Jacob Peterson (1874-    ) (Russia (Poland) - immigrated 1900 – naturalized) and Ida (Moskowitz) Peterson (1880-    ) (Russia (Poland) – immigrated 1900 – naturalized) (married 1900). Siblings included Myer Peterson (1901-    ) (NY), Nathan Peterson (1902-    ) (NY), and Estelle Rose (Peterson) Donchin (1906-    ). In 1920 his paternal uncle, Joseph Peterson (1891-    ) (immigrated 1910) lived with them. In 1930 he was living with an uncle, Thomas Camp (1870-1941) and Eunice F. (Tomlin) Camp (1878-    ) and family in 8 West Powell St., Millville, New Jersey. Living with them was Etta M. (Camp) Peterson (1895-    ), sister of Thomas Camp, mother of Harry H. Peterso; Lillian Tomlin (Camp) Doughty (1905-1958). In 1936 he was a junior in Westfield High School, Westfield, NJ. In 1940, Etta Peterson (1895-    & divorced) and her son, Harry H. Peterson, lived on Buck St., Millville, NJ. He married Elizabeth E. “Bette” Peterson, 215 Park Ave, Vineland, New Jersey.

 

While residing in Cumberland Co., New Jersey, he enlisted in the USAAF in Camden, New Jersey, on 8 September 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radar equipment on the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his commission and wings. On 4 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-6370, “Lethal Lady,” assigned to 20th Air Force, the 468th Bomb Group, 793rd Bomb Squadron, one of fifty-three B-29s, departed the airfield at Khargpur, India, on a bombing mission to Singapore Naval Base. 1stLt Eigler was the co-pilot. 1stLt Peterson was the radar operator. The B-29 was returning to its base when it crashed into the Bay of Bengal (MACR 9577). The pilot of B-29, # 42-6582, of the 40th Bomb Group, saw the crash. SSgt Albert G. Seekatz, 37494507, had the last radio contact. Searches for the wreckage and any survivors were conducted by four aircraft and one Catalina aircraft, sweep searching the area of the crash. No crewmen were found. Airmen in B-29, 42-6582, 40th Bomb Group, at 2030 Zulu, saw a B-29 explode and crash into the Bay of Bengal at 11º 17’ N - 94º 14’ E, near the Andaman Islands. On this B-29s return trip from the mission, saw red and green flares. SSgt Seekatz, radio operator aboard B-29 42-6397, received an “Urgent” call from 42- 6370 at 2030 Zulu but no following message was sent. Another B-29 crew, returning from the same mission, saw a yellow life raft with either a mast or a man standing slightly north of the noted bearing. The entire Bomber Command (20th AF) and units of the British Navy conducted a thorough search of the area for several hundred miles around the wreckage location. The search lasted several days. Nothing was found. He is remembered on the memorial wall in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines.