Louis H. "Pete"
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CDR US Navy, Ret.
1936 - 2014
Commander Louis H. Petersen, a native of Washington, D. C. was born on June 14, 1936 and passed away in his hometown of Pensacola, FL on Monday, April 28, 2014. He attended the University of Maryland and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education for Industry with a Major in Industrial Automotives and a Minor in Psychology.
Commander Petersen entered the Navy through the Aviation Officer Candidate Program, was commissioned an Ensign in June 1961 and was designated a Naval Aviator and Helicopter Pilot in October 1962. Commander Petersen's first tour of duty was with HU-2/HC-2 serving as Assistant Avionics Officer, Detachment Pilot and briefly as Officer in Charge of HU-2 DET-60. During shore duty at NAS Oceana, he served as Targets Officer, Flight Support Officer and Search and Rescue Pilot. Following replacement pilot training with HS-1, Commander Petersen served with HS-3 as Safety Officer, Administrative Officer and Task Element Commander for Phase I SAR under CTF-140 during the Apollo 13 Space Flight. He also served as Officer in Charge of HS-3 DET-59 and HS-3 DET-62. During subsequent assignment to the Staff, COMNAVAIRLANT, he served as the Rotary Wing Aircraft Material Officer and the Utility Helicopter Services Officer. Following replacement pilot training with HSL-30, Commander Petersen served with HSL-32 as Safety Officer, Officer in Charge of HSL-32 DET-9 and as Maintenance Officer. He transferred to HSL-34 and served as Operations Officer. During Squadron tours Commander Petersen has participated in six Caribbean, one North Atlantic and four Mediterranean deployments. In December 1977 he became the Commanding Officer of Mine Countermeasures Unit Bravo.
Commander Petersen has completed advanced education programs while attending the Aviation Safety Officer long Course, USNPGS, Monterey, California, the System Safety Analysis Course, GWU, Norfolk extension and the Mine Warfare Staff Officers Course, FMWTC, Charleston, South Carolina. His flight activity has included seven operational tours for a total of 3350 flight hours with 2250 in helicopters. Commander Petersen has been qualified to fly the T-34, T-28, C-45, C-47 and S-2 series aircraft and the H-2, H-3, H-19, H-25 and H-34 series helicopters. He has also flown the T-33, C-1, C-118 and 0-1 series aircraft and the H-21, H-43, H-46 and H-53 series helicopters.
Commander Petersen was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, two Battle Efficiency "E" awards, the National Defense Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Award.
After 26 years of dedicated service, Commander Petersen retired from the United States Navy on June 30, 1987 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. After moving to Pensacola, Florida he was employed by G. H. Skipper, Inc. as a Fleet Manager.
"Pete" as he was affectionately known, enjoyed his retired years by taking care of his beloved grandchildren taking them to many, many museums. It was important to Pete to impart his wisdom on the young. His hobbies included many; however, cars, model airplanes and nature were his passion. Pete attended East Brent Baptist Church.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 51 years, Twila Petersen; daughter, Reagan Reeves; sons, Kelly (Ivanna) Petersen and Mark (Julie) Petersen; grandchildren, Erin Reeves and, Tyler Reeves; step-grandchildren, Kalesha Matthews and Tyvanna Boulanger; step great-grandchildren, Sidney, Payton, Kaydence and Jaxson; and numerous other relatives.
A visitation will be held from 7:00pm to 9:00pm Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at Pensacola Memorial Gardens Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00am Thursday, May 1, 2014 at the funeral home with Reverend Dale Patterson officiating.
Interment, with full military honors, will follow at Pensacola Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation in honor of L.H. Petersen, P.O. Box 1848 Longmont, CO 80502
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Pensacola Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home - Pensacola
7433 Pine Forest Rd
Pensacola, FL 32526
Published in Pensacola News Journal from Apr. 30 to May 2, 2014