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Albert Leonidas Peterson
Albert Leonidas Peterson
Albert Leonidas Peterson
Albert Leonidas Peterson

Beloved son shot down one week after his 24th birthday

LT Junior Grade Albert Leonidas Peterson

LTJG Peterson was born March 17, 1920, in Jacksonville, FL. On March 24, 1944, while serving with Naval Bombing Squadron (VB) 305, he was killed in a crash on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. His aircraft was observed to be streaming fuel as he approached his target. He attempted to land at the Torokina fighter strip, but when he saw it was  impossible, he bailed out of his plane at 100 feet. His parachute did not open.

He was survived by his mother, Marguerita Peterson, of Atlanta, and his father, Charles A. Peterson of Jacksonville.

Mrs. Peterson wrote this letter to the Department of the Navy, requesting the return of her son’s remains after he was killed during a bombing raid:

Atlanta, GA (date uncertain, appears to be 9-9-44)
Navy Department Bureau of Naval Personnel Washington, D.C.

Dear Sirs-

Until now, I found myself unequal to write you regarding the remains of my blessed Son, Lieutenant (J.G.) Albert L. Peterson. My son met his untimely death in Bougainville-March 24, 1944.

There he is peacefully sleeping until his remains will be returned to me, which causes me to be so grateful to our own United States.

I realize only his remains are there, for he is my sacred spirit’s comrade daily – here with me. But Sir, my son is all I have. It will bring untold comfort to me to have him here with me. To be beside me one glorious day.

From the depths of my heart, this is my wish. Thank you sirs.

Very truly yours,
Mrs. M.A. Peterson
817 Ponce De Leon Ave. N.E. #8

  1. Steven Anthony LeachSteven Anthony Leach07-28-2014

    Subj: LT Junior Grade Albert Leonidas Peterson

    My deceased mother (who was a Navy Wave) knew this pilot and his mother; Albert’s mother gave my mother a copy of his funeral card with picture two pictures on it, a short story about how he died, & and a memorial note from his uncle. Albert’s mother also gave my mother his “Purple Heart Medal”. I donated these items to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL in the earlier part of this year 2014. The museum curator Mr. Frank Matson recieved these items from myself and my younger brother and included these items in Albert’s Navy file records, which he showed us at the museum.

    I thought you would like to know this information!


  2. Ed BurkeEd Burke03-17-2016

    Special need; to find as much information possible regard night takeoff accident of F4U-1 attached to VMF-212 (bureau #02215) on 16 Aug 43. This was a fatal incident in which my brother and the pilot died. I have found some stuff but interested in accident reports. Brother: John Francis Burke #271181 USMCR ( an aircraft engineer on the ground)
    Pilot: 2nd LT. Herbert W. Strass Jr. (as listed in VMF-224 scrap book).

    If unable to assist me I would appreciate your direction.
    Thank you for your service,

    Ed. Burke

  3. Peyton AuklandPeyton Aukland01-20-2018

    My Great-Grandfather was a tail gunner in VB-305. He was injured over Simpson harbor on April 11th, 1944. I have a picture of VB-305 before they shipped overseas and I believe I found Albert in the picture. RIP Mr. Peterson

    • Bill BeigelBill Beigel01-22-2018

      Hi Peyton: I would love to see the photo you mention. Best, Bill

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