Peterson Remembered

Thursday marks the 70 anniversary of the establishment of Peterson Army Air Force Base, a precursor of modern-day Peterson AFB, Colo. It was on Dec. 13, 1942, when officials gathered at Colorado Springs Army Air Base to rename it in honor of 25-year-old Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Edward Peterson, who was killed there in a flying accident in an F-4 Photo-Lightning—a recce version of the P-38 Lightning—on Aug. 8, 1942. He was the first Coloradan to die in a flying accident there, according to the air base’s official fact sheet. “Courage, determination, and devotion to duty characterized Lieutenant Peterson. He was an officer of fine character and high ideals who commanded the affectionate respect of all his associates,” wrote Army Air Forces chief Gen. Hap Arnold to Peterson’s wife Ruth, according to a Dec. 10 base release. The Peterson Air and Space Museum has an exhibit dedicated to this airman’s memory. (See also Peterson report by Jeff Nash)