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POSTED ON 8.11.2023
POSTED BY: john fabris

honoring you.....

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory
and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed...
We feel lucky to have seen it.
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POSTED ON 5.2.2021
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear PFC Michael Peterson, Thank you for your service as an Airborne Qualified Indirect Fire Infantryman. Your 54th anniversary is soon, and so is the anniversary of the start of your tour, sad. Saying thank you isn't enough, but it is from the heart. Yesterday was the 46th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, and it is still sad. Time passes quickly. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness, especially now. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 5.14.2016
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear PFC Michael Eugene Peterson, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, Sir

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 6.22.2014

Final Mission of PFC Michael E. Peterson

Mother’s Day in 1967 Vietnam fell on May 14th. The bone-weary men pulled themselves off the jungle floor and reluctantly greeted the morning with a palpable tingling of doom and danger. They tried to shake off the nervous stiffness by focusing their mental effort and energy on readying themselves and their gear for the day’s final push. The men popped malaria pills, policed the immediate area, readjusted rucksack loads, locked and loaded weapons, and shared a last cigarette or swig of precious water with their squad-mates. While the captain reviewed plans for the day’s track with his inner command circle, both the acting 4th platoon leader, a senior NCO, and the 2nd platoon lieutenant vociferously ‘suggested’ to the Old Man the inadvisability of continuing the route’s direction. The NCO, a seasoned infantryman with plenty of ‘field-time’, realized they could only walk into an inevitable ‘world of hurt’ the closer the hilltop. Ignoring the advice, the Captain’s only concern was meeting the projected supply drop as he once again set the order of the march. The 4th platoon point squad with anxiety and tension clearly etched on their faces, started-off the column into the thick jungle gloom. It was not even mid-morning when a fork in the trail was reached. After being advised of this, the Captain split the column ordering 2nd platoon to take the right branch while keeping his command element intact with 4th platoon, veered off to the left angle. It was perhaps within a few minutes as both platoons moving somewhat abreast entered the kill zone. The point squad of 2nd platoon had stumbled onto a bunker complex off the side of their trail and while the platoon LT was radioing the Captain of this new development, the jaws of ambush snapped shut. The enemy’s opening salvo was a tremendous fusillade of automatic weapons fire unleashed simultaneously at both platoons. Within seconds, the air was filled with flying lead, shredding and chopping the surrounding jungle foliage into bits of green confetti. A shower of Chicom grenades soon followed, peppering the men with hot metal fragments and blowing several of the troopers back down the hill. The initial contact killed the 4th platoon point-man, SP4 Pat Phillips and the scout dog handler, CPL. Michael Bost, and wounded several others. Reacting like muscle memory, the troopers shed their rucks, unlimbered weapons and began to lay down a base of return fire adding to the incredible noise and exploding violence. Snapping small arms fire whipped inches off the ground, muzzle flashes blazed in the dark undergrowth, endless bursts of enemy machine-gun fire hosed down the area as the incoming rounds found, smacked and thudded into the bodies of the troopers desperately clawing for available cover. When the call went out for ‘guns up’, 4th platoon M-60 gunner, CPL. Benito Gonzalez, a Mexican-American from Texas, charged forward like a linebacker carrying the ‘Pig’ with its needed suppressive firepower, caught a bullet to his head killing him immediately. Without hesitation, the platoon medics along with the senior company aid-man, scuttled forward like land crabs low-crawling directly into the firestorm to retrieve and assist the wounded. The command element edged up, not quite to the point of contact, but close enough to better assess the chaotic fluid situation. The company captain shouted into the radio for a priority fire mission while the forward observer (FO) called-in coordinates, and just as quickly a marking smoke round arrived. Since the immediate terrain presented only a 20-meters visibility restricting accurate observation, there is some confusion from the participants as to what followed once the first volley of 105mm artillery rounds hit. Some believed to have heard the point squad yell ‘Drop, Drop!’, when others heard shouts of ‘Stop, Stop! Check fire!’ Those near the command post heard the Old Man without waiting for an adjustment check, over-ride the FO by demanding fire support to ‘drop twenty-five and fire for effect!’ The troopers who instinctively knew the first volley was ‘danger-close’, began to scramble wildly, burrowing for deeper cover once they heard the distant booming of the second volley shot-out and the incoming on its way. The second volley of six 105mm rounds screamed in like a runaway freight train and struck the nearby upper tree-line. Time-delay fused for the enemy emplacements, the projectiles ricocheted off the canopy tops resulting in a classic tree-burst effect. One cone of deadly shrapnel spray deflected downward, blasting directly into the company CP. Killed immediately were SGT. Jerry Norris, and both of the company’s radiomen, CPL. Crawford Snow, a full-blooded Paiute Native-American Indian, and PFC. Michael Peterson. Others in the CP were wounded including the FO and the Captain himself. In the Department of the Army’s official combat after-action report on Operation MALHEUR, the Battle for Mother’s Day Hill was reduced to one (verbatim) sentence: ‘On 14 May, one company of the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 327th Infantry contacted an enemy force of unknown size in well fortified, dug-in positions, resulting in 8 US KIA and 36 WIA’. Michael Peterson’s body was handled and prepared on May 29, 1967 for the somber return to CONUS by a Graves Registration Team from the 19th Supply and Service Company at CARENTAN base. Before the casket was sealed shut for shipping, one of his dog-tags was removed and returned among his personal effects to his mother. The dog-tag’s mate rests buried with his remains where he is currently interred at his hometown cemetery, Live Oak Cemetery in Monrovia, CA. Posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and Valor device, his hometown newspaper featured, along with his photograph, a front-page article that read in part his Bronze Star citation; “PFC Peterson, a radio-telephone operator with the 1st Brigade of the 101st Army Airborne Division, received the Bronze Star for rushing to the side of his commanding officer and firing on the enemy when his company engaged the North Vietnamese in a fight. He was killed when his body caught the brunt of shrapnel from an artillery shell, saving the lives of several of his comrades along with his commanding officer.” In the Nation’s capitol, Michael Peterson is also memorialized on panel 19E, line 121 of ‘The Wall’. To the memory of the eight courageous paratroopers who gave their lives on Mother Day’s Hill, May 14, 1967. [Taken from 327infantry.com]
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POSTED ON 1.22.2014
POSTED BY: Don Kochi

327th INF article on M. Peterson's KIA

to read fully the circumstances of Michael Peterson's KIA....see:
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