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Arman Peterson

Military

78th FG 84FS. Col Arman Peterson, came from Flagstaff, Arizona, and called his Thunderbolt “Flagari”. He was the first CO of 78th Fighter Group at Duxford and was killed in action 1st July 1943 on the day the group had destroyed four FW 190s, and damaged five others. ‘ “The day ‘Pete’ didn’t come back “ reshaped the course of the 78th. Officers flew frantic and vain search missions. Ground personnel went around, scuffing their shoes into the dust and digging their hands deep into their pockets. Bob Hope and Francis Langford arrived to entertain us, but their show began to fall flat. “What’s wrong with these guys” Hope wanted to know. He was told. And what a show that trouper put on in the old theatre hangar, in an attempt to help the boys forget.’

‘The regard with which this man is held is still a source of amazement to visitors. In a way he has grown into a legend or a myth – a myth that is perhaps bigger than was the man himself. The fact that his life was cut off at the height of his glory when the group was outstanding in the E.T.O. adds to the story.’

‘There was something about Pete that eased nervousness and tension. I met him after he had finished his fight the other day. – wheeling slowly away from his plane on a bike. […] The young colonel rather shyly accepted congratulations on having shot down a German plane.[…] Pete had a bullet hole in his plane and asked why he had not said anything about it over the radio, he replied, “ I was doing all right. Just cut down my speed a little, that’s all.” ‘

Service

Units served with

Aircraft

Associated Place

  • Duxford

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Duxford, now a museum and still a working airfield, was operated by the USAAF from 1943 to 1945. The base was briefly the home of the 350th Fighter Group in late 1942, but it was not until April 1943 that it became a fully American station when the...

  • Goxhill

    Military site : airfield
    Goxhill opened in June 1941 as an RAF Bomber Command airfield, before being handed over to RAF Fighter Command in December. The Eighth Air Force took ownership in August 1942, and used the airfield, which they quickly dubbed 'Goat Hill' for operational...

Events

Event Location Date
Killed in Action (KIA) 1 July 1943

Crashed into the North Sea

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2015 12:55:42 IWMPM Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

AAM original imprest

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2015 12:50:52 IWMPM Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

AAM original imprest

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2015 12:50:19 IWMPM Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

AAM original imprest

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2015 10:53:50 Anne Hughes Changes to events
Sources

78th FG Monthly History

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2015 10:50:16 Anne Hughes Changes to biography
Sources

Three Years with the Fighter Group (0484), 78th Fighter Group History (0473) March 1945, Duxford Diary, “When “Pete” didn’t come back” by Hugh Baillie

Date Contributor Update
01 October 2014 08:44:20 Above The Foe Changes to nickname, highest rank, role, awards and place associations
Sources

Through Dennis Notenboom, biographer Arman Peterson

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:03:56 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

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