Ross H. Peterson was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was the son of Robert H. Peterson and Ethel Elizabeth Cox. He was the brother of Charles A. Peterson, Edna Peterson, Andrew Peterson, Herbert Peterson, John Peterson, Jeane Peterson, and May Lou Peterson. Ross enlisted in the Army Air Corps on October 23, 1942 in Camp Forrest, TN. He graduated from Halls High School and was formerly employed by Aluminum Company of America, Alcoa.

Buried at Lynnhurst Cemetery, Knoxville, TN

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, 24 February 1945
On what is believed to have been his 50th bombing mission over Germany (and so probably the last one before coming home), Staff Sgt. Ross H. Peterson was killed. The father, R.H. Peterson, Halls Cross Roads, has been notified that Sgt. Peterson, 22, was killed on Aug. 22, 1944. On Sept. 3 the father had been notified that his son was missing as of Aug. 22. Mr. Peterson had four sons in service. The later notification said the death message was received from the German Government through the International Red Cross. The adjutant general has further informed Mr. Peterson that the Fourth Service commanding general, Atlanta, will send an officer here soon to formally present the father with the Air Medal and three Clusters that were awarded the son. Two brothers are PO John Peterson, 25, who has made several Atlantic crossings on an escort destroyer; and Cpl. Charles Peterson who is in Italy and has had several visits with Sgt. Peterson there before the latter’s death. Sgt. Peterson was engineer and waist gunner on a Liberator with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy.

456th Bomber Group, 746th Bomber Squadron, Heavy, 15th Air Force

Aircraft B-24G, serial number 42-78256 departed from Stornara Field, Italy on a bombing mission to the Synthetic Oil Refinery at Blechhammer, Germany.

Eyewitness Statement from Sgt Ward L. Gerowe, 746th Bomber Squadron (H):
I was flying in Baker 4 Box, ship 089 as a photographer. Aircraft 256, piloted by Lt Goodall was hit by flak after rally from target. Pilot lost control over ship immediately. Ship rolled over to its back and was on fire. Flames came out from wing and bomb-bay. Shortly afterwards, a/c blew up. No parachutes seen opening.

Crew members
Pilot, 1st Lt. Wilson Goodall
Co-Pilot, Capt Frederick W. Hyde Jr.
Navigator, 1st Lt Robert B. Thompson
Bombardier, 1st Lt Nicholas J. Colletti
Left Waist Gunner, T/Sgt George E. Rich
Right Waist Gunner, S/Sgt Carl H. Turner
NG, S/Sgt Ross H. Peterson
Tail Turret Gunner, S/Sgt Frank J. Babcock
Ball Gunner, S/Sgt Richard B. Borland Jr.
TG, S/Sgt John F. Litcher

The body of Ross Peterson was recovered at Steinbirn on 22 August 1944. He was initially buried at the local cemetery at Mechnitz, District Neustadt, Germany on 24 August 1944.

  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 18 June 1922
  • Date of death: 22 August 1944
  • County: Knox
  • Hometown: Knoxville
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 456th Bomber Group, 746th Bomber Squadron, Heavy
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Lynnhurst Cemetery, Knoxville, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XIV, Middle Panel
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