Peter A. Petito – Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

Peter A. Petito, 84, a retired Army colonel and intelligence analyst, died of prostate cancer November 17, 1998 at the Hospice of Howard County, Maryland.

Colonel Petito, who fought in the jungles of Burma during World War II, served in the Army Counterintelligence Corps for much of his career. He was posted to Austria and was executive officer of the Counterintelligence Center at Fort Holabird, Maryland.

Three years after retiring from active duty in 1961 and after a brief resumption of a teaching career in Chicago, he went to work for the Defense Intelligence Agency's NATO military intelligence unit. He retired again in 1987.

Colonel Petito, who was a native of Chicago and a graduate of the Illinois Technical University, entered the National Guard in 1933 and was commissioned an infantry officer three years later.

During World War II, he served as a battalion operations officer and as a column commander in the battle of Guadalcanal. After volunteering for special operations, he was assigned to a guerrilla unit led by Major General Frank D. Merrill. The unit, which became known as Merrill's Marauders, struck behind Japanese lines in Burma.

His first wife, Grace Petito, died in 1978.

Survivors include his wife, Milena Petito of Columbia; two children from his first marriage, Nola Petito of Columbia and Peter A. Petito Jr. of San Jose; a brother; a sister; and two grandchildren.

PETITO, PETER A. On November 17, 1998, of Columbia, MD, beloved husband of Milene Petito; father of Peter, Jr. and Nola; grandfather of Grazia and Christopher; brother of Angeline and Joseph. Services will be held Tuesday, December 1, 12:45 p.m., Ft. Myer Post Chapel. Interment to follow at Arlington National Cemetery. Should friends desire, contributions may be made to Huntington's Disease Society of America, 140 W. 22nd St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10011-2420.

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