Colonel Carl A. “Pete” Peterson, 90, a glider infantry officer during World War II and a former professor and administrator at Bowie State University, died January 24, 2005, of pneumonia at Howard County General Hospital. He was a longtime resident of Laurel before moving to Ellicott City two years ago.
After retiring from the military in 1969, Colonel Peterson served as vice president for administration and associate professor of management at Bowie State. He assisted in organizing and developing the graduate management program. He retired from the college in the late 1970s.
Colonel Peterson was born in Great Falls, Montana, and grew up on a ranch near Highwood, Montana. He graduated from Montana State University in 1937 and was commissioned an infantry Second Lieutenant in the Army. He served with the 38th Infantry Regiment at Fort Douglas, Utah, for a year and then returned to work for the Montana Extension Service.
In 1941, he returned to military duty at Montana State University. Two years later, he joined the 194th Glider Infantry, where he served as battalion commander and as executive officer. He was in three major campaigns in Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge.
As an infantry officer, he rode gliders into combat on numerous occasions. His son recalled a photo of his father standing in front of one of his gliders, the craft marked with more than a hundred bullet holes. Colonel Peterson's survival, the son remarked, “was just the luck of the draw.”
In 1945-46, he served with the 82nd Airborne Division in Berlin and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Later assignments included ROTC duty at Montana State, inspector general of United States troops in Trieste, Italy, and working with Congress while at the Pentagon.
After graduating from the Army War College, he served in war plans for the 8th U.S. Army in Korea, where he helped develop the first plan for the defense of Korea under nuclear warfare conditions. He also organized and directed a war game to test the plan.
He also served in war plans at the Pacific headquarters of the U.S. Army in Hawaii as brigade commander and as senior adviser to the 5th Corps of the Korean Army, a unit of 60,000 men. He completed his career as an intelligence officer with the 1st U.S. Army in 1969.
He was also a graduate of the Command and General Staff School, the Army Management School and George Washington University, where he received a master's degree in international relations. His decorations included the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, two Army Commendation Medals, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Glider Badge and several campaign ribbons.
Colonel Peterson's wife, Helen Peterson, died in 1978. A son, Carl A. Peterson Jr., died in 2000.
Survivors include three sons, John M. Peterson of Berlin, Maryland, James R. Peterson of Missoula, Montana, and David G. Peterson of Ellicott City; and four grandchildren.
PETERSON, CARL AUGUST
On January 24, 2005. The husband of the late Helen Peterson. He is survived by his children, John M., James R. and David G. Peterson; grandchildren, Carl A. III, Erik C., Michael A., Amber N., Lauren J., Hannah L. and Alexander R. Peterson; great-grandchildren, Madeline, Samuel and Maggie Peterson; and a host of loving family and friends. He was preceded by a son, Carl A. Peterson, Jr. and his siblings, Marie MacDonald and George R. Peterson.
Interment will Full Military Honors at the Fort Myer Chapel in Arlington National Cemetery on March 9, 2005 at 9 a.m. All visitors must meet at the chapel at 8:30 a.m.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard