John Peterson

MACR: 10719

S/Sgt. John Paul Peterson was assigned to the 459th BG 758th Squadron.
Military Occupational Specialty (MOS): Ball Turret.


NOVEMBER 18, 1922 - JULY 31, 2014

Paul Robert “Bob” Peterson, age 91, passed away July 31, 2014, at his home in Pleasant Grove. Bob was born Nov. 18, 1922, in Ephraim, Utah to Lawrence Ray and Nancy Ann Lamb Peterson. His family moved to Pleasant Grove when he was 10 years old, and later to Provo.

He graduated from Provo High School and Brigham Young University. Bob served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II flying combat missions as a B-24 ball turret gunner. During the Korean War he was recalled to active duty in the U.S. Air Force. He decided to make the Air Force his career and served his country for 24 years, retiring with the rank of Major in 1970. Settling in Pleasant Grove, he went to work for Utah County as Chief Deputy County Clerk and later was a partner in Lake Mountain Industries. During this time, he did several aerial photography surveys and explorations, including work in Guatemala. He also photographed the Pony Express Trail. He always enjoyed flying, and to celebrate his 90th birthday, he flew with a grandson-in-law, and piloted a Cessna 182.

He married Roberta May Dean on Sept. 4, 1947, in the Salt Lake Temple. He was always an active member of the LDS Church and served in many positions—including Bishop, Branch Pres., District Pres., Young Men’s Pres. and Scout Master. He served 3 missions with his beloved wife to England, New Zealand and Florida. Bob and Roberta have traveled extensively and enjoyed seeing much of the world and its people.

He and his family lived in many different locations during his career, including Japan and Turkey. He is the father of 6 children, 23 grandchildren, and 37 great- Grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and two older brothers, Richard and John. He is survived by his wife, Roberta, his six children: Paul Jr. (Elaine), Keith (Diane), Dennis (Pamela), Randy (Melissa), Joyce P. Walker, and Janice (Ronald) Oien, as well as a brother, Don C. Peterson and sister, Mary Louise Teeples.

He always had a fun personality and good sense of humor. He is dearly loved and will be missed by all of his posterity and many friends throughout the world.

Funeral services were held Monday, August 4, 2014 at 12:00 noon in the Pleasant Grove East Stake Center, 825 South Loader Drive. Interment was in the Orem City Cemetery with military honors conducted by American Legion Post 72.


John Paul Peterson born in Cromwell, CT March 10, 1920, graduated from Portland High School (Portland, CT) June 1938. Graduated from Upsala College with a B.A. degree June 1942. Enlisted in Air Force June 1942 at Newark, NJ. Called to service December 7, 1942 Newark, NJ. Inducted to Air Force in San Antonio, TX as aviation cadet. Sent to Cimeron Field in Oklahoma, then on to Sioux Falls, SD for radio operation. From there to Gunnery School in Yuma, AZ. Joined B-24 crew at Westover Field, MA in March 1944. Married to Sherrill Prisk on March 7, 1942. Trained with crew at Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina.

Left U.S. in June 1944 and arrived in Italy in July 1944 and joined 459B Bomb Group. Shot down over Blackhimer, Germany on August 22, 1944. Spent time in solitary confinement at Budapest. Sent to Stalag Luft IV (Poland) via the famous boxcar trains. Interned at Stalag IV until February 6, 1945. Survived the infamous 600-mile death march for 80 days during the dead of winter. Liberated at Halle, Germany on April 26, 1945. Flew to Camp Lucky Strike in LaHavre, France. Returned by boat to U.S.A and landed in N.Y.C. on June 6, 1945. Separated from service October 1945 at Fort Devans, MA

Paul with wife Sherrill - 459th BG, Army Air Corps Library and Museum

Paul with wife Sherrill

Standing left to right: Harvey Lagasse, Vaughn, Roy Sutton, Jerry CullisionKneeling left to right:  Gordon Liner, Paul Peterson, Anthony Laspina, A. J. Benetta, Harold Botwright, Tom Tomlinson - 459th BG, Army Air Corps Library and Museum

Standing left to right: Harvey Lagasse, Vaughn, Roy Sutton, Jerry CullisionKneeling left to right: Gordon Liner, Paul Peterson, Anthony Laspina, A. J. Benetta, Harold Botwright, Tom Tomlinson

The following information on John Peterson is gathered and extracted from military records. We have many documents and copies of documents, including military award documents. It is from these documents that we have found this information on S/Sgt. Peterson. These serviceman's records are nowhere near complete and we are always looking for more material. If you can help add to John Peterson's military record please contact us.

Rank Order Date Award




Air Medal (AM)

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