Wall of Honor Location:
Foil: 24 Panel: 4 Column: 2 Line: 20
Wall of Honor Level:
Air and Space Sponsor
KENNETH B. PETERSEN was born on January 2, 1943 in Chicago, IL. He attended Mt. Carmel High School and Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. While at IIT, he spent two summers at Quantico, VA in the USMC PLC program and upon graduation, he received his commission as a 2nd LT in the Marines. He then proceeded to Pensacola, FL where he entered the jet pipeline, which took him to Saufley Field, NAS Meridian, MS and NAS Beeville, TX. He completed his Naval Aviation flight training in the last squadron of F-l 1 Tiger single-seat supersonic fighters. He then went to MCAS Beaufort, S.C. where he learned to fly the F-4B Phantom II as a member of VMFA-312. In less then a year he was transferred to VMFA-323 at Chu Lai, RVN. From Chu Lai he flew 212 combat missions between July 1968 and July 1969 and served for three months as Air Liaison Officer to the Korean Marines south of Danang. He was awarded the DFC for a close air support mission on October 2, 1968.
Subsequent tours included VMFA-531 at MCAS El Toro, NPS at Monterey, CA, VMFA-115 in Nam Phong, Thailand and MCAS Iwakuni Japan, HQ FMFLANT in Norfolk, VA, VMFA 232 in MCAS Kaneohe HI, Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, HQ Marine Corps in Arlington, VA, and then back to MCAS El Toro where he retired in November 1985. His personal awards include his DFC, 22 Air Medals, and the Navy Commendation Medal with two combat Vs.
Petersen currently (2003) resides in Monterey, CA. with his wife Rita and daughter McKenna, where he enjoys flying his Cessna 182. He has four children: Erik, Christopher, William, and McKenna. He is a partner in the investment firm of Petersen & Ramistella, Inc. and is a member of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society and the Marine Corps Aviation Association.