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Nebraska Department of Aeronautics
Mr. Ronnie Mitchell, Director

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Vice Admiral Forrest Silas Petersen was born in Holdrege, May 16, 1922 and grew up in Gibbon. He attended the University of Nebraska—Lincoln for two years prior to entering the U. S. Naval Academy in 1941. During World War II Admiral Petersen saw action in the Mariana and Western Caroline Islands, Leyte Gulf, Okinawa, and Japan. He became a Naval Aviator in 1947. Admiral Petersen participated in test flights of the X-15, receiving the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the National Society of Aerospace Professional’s Montgomery Award. He was joint recipient of the Collier Trophy and was also awarded numerous military decorations. Admiral Petersen was appointed Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy, in 1976 and assumed command of the Naval Air Systems Command. Admiral Petersen died in 1990 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. He was a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics.

 

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