First Black Marine Corps Aviator and General, Frank Petersen Jr., Dies at 83

A portrait of then Major Frank E Peterson Jr. (PHOTO CREDIT: Afro Newspaper/Gado)
A portrait of then Major Frank E Peterson Jr. (PHOTO CREDIT: Afro Newspaper/Gado)

Retired Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen Jr., the first black Marine Corps aviator and officer promoted to brigadier general, died Tuesday. He was 83.

Petersen was born March 2, 1932, in Topeka, Kansas. After serving two years in the Navy, Petersen was commissioned in the Marine Corps. He flew more than 350 combat missions and more than 4,000 military aircraft hours, and received the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

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SOURCE: The Week, Catherine Garcia

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