David Howard Peterson
HITCHCOCK - Mr. David Howard Peterson, born November 11, 1927 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin passed from this life Wednesday morning, March 24, 2021, in Hitchcock.
David was born to Opal Kuns of Illinois and Elmer S. Peterson, born in Norway. His youth was spent on the lands in Vermillion County, Illinois on a farm homesteaded by his 3rd Great Grandfather in 1844. At age 16, during World War II, David entered the U.S. Merchant Marine Training Station in New York and received training in the engine department aboard ship. He left the Merchant Marine after having served 2 ½ years in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific war zones. David was awarded the Medal for Freedom for his part in the “Great Patriotic War’ (1939-1945) from the Russian government for his service during “Murmansk Run”.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1949 to 1955, receiving basic military training at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky with the 101st Airborne Division. He was sent to Japan where he was reassigned to active duty with the 49th Field Artillery Battalion, 17th Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division in Japan. One year later he landed at Inchon, Korea in September1950 and served until October 1951. David was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for heroic action in the evacuation of refugees from the Yalu River in North Korea. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was reassigned for 6 months at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland and another 6 months at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. In 1952 he was assigned to the 142nd Field Artillery Group, 7th Army in Europe and served in Germany with the Occupation Forces there. He was discharged from the service in May 1955 at Fort Hamilton, New York.
David retired from the space program in 1998 and was employed in 1956 with Douglas Aircraft Company at White Sands Proving Ground, NM. He was later employed with North American Aviation in 1963. This company later became Rockwell International and was prime contractor for the Saturn-Apollo moon project. David was transferred to Kennedy Space Center for the duration of the Apollo moon project and was later assigned work at Johnson Space Center in Texas working with the crew equipment group on approach and landing tests on the shuttle Orbiter project. He is responsible for 2 inventions on the shuttle Orbiter and has received several certificates of recognition for his work and contribution to the space program from management and astronauts alike.
David joined the ranks of the Sons of the American Revolution, in 1982, a hereditary and patriotic organization, and has served as president of the chapter in Galveston. David served as state president. Other organizations of note are; past president, Sons of the Revolution, he served as Deputy Governor General, Society of Colonial Wars. Past president of the War of 1812; Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims; The Aztec Club of 1847; The Sons of the American Colonists; The Society of Indiana Pioneers; The Illinois Prairie Pioneers; The Ancestry; The International Society of the descendants of Charlemagne, The Royal Society of St. George and is an Admiral in the Texas Navy. David is a life member of the First Marine Division Association, The Seventh Infantry Division Association and the Korean War Veterans.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wives, Nieves Schehl, Dorothy Peterson and Mary Ottyce Peterson; sons, David Peterson, Jr., Stephen Peterson; sister, Donna Smock; grandson, Chris Benninghoff.
Survivors include his son, Richard Peterson and wife, Mary Jo; daughters, Teresa Montero and husband, Art, Monica Benninghoff and husband, David, Donna Peterson, SGT Naoma Peterson (Ret. USAR); stepdaughter, Diane Mallett and husband, Paul; 14 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; 3 nieces, 1 nephew and numerous cousins.
Graveside services will be conducted 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 29, 2021, at Galveston Memorial Park Cemetery, with Reverend Mike Selzer officiating.
Visitation with the family will be from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Saturday, March 27, 2021 in the chapel of Hayes Funeral Home, 10412 Highway 6, Hitchcock, TX (409) 925-3501. Immediately following the visitation David’s family will have a reception at the Genevieve Miler Public Library, 8005 Barry Avenue, Hitchcock, Texas 77563.
Memorials in the form of donations may be made in David’s name to the Hitchcock Heritage Society Museum Fund or to an organization of your choice.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David Howard Peterson, please visit our floral store.
Hitchcock Heritage Society Museum Fund
8007 Barry Avenue, Hitchcock TX 77563