Worth County

* * *

Cerro Gordo County

Sgt. Ralph R. Peterson


Sgt. Ralph Peterson Is Still
Missing in Philippine Islands

A wire from the war department confirmed the belief of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Peterson, 1712 Delaware avenue northeast, that their son, Sgt. Ralph Richard Peterson, is still missing in action in the Philippines. A North Iowa newspaper erroneously reported that he was listed as killed in Africa recently.

Sergeant Peterson enlisted in the army at Manly, where the family made its home August 11, 1941. He was sent immediately to the Philippines with the infantry. He was reported missing on May 25, 1942.

The Petersons have another son in the army. He is Pvt. Raymond Peterson who is at Nashville, Tenn., with a chemical warfare unit.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Tuesday, June 29, 1943, Page 14  (photo included)


Had Been Missing Since Corregidor Fell, May, 1942

Sgt. Ralph Peterson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Peterson, 1712 Delaware N. W., who has been reported missing in the Philippines since May 7, 1942, has been recorded death according to official finding of the war department, according to word received by his parents from the adjutant general's office at Washington, D. C. The communication read:

"Since your son, Sgt. Ralph R. Peterson, 17,029,336, detached enlisted men's list, was reported missing in action May 7, 1942, the war department has entertained the hope that he survived and that information would be revealed, dispelling the uncertainty surrounding his absence.

"However, as in many cases, the conditions of warfare deny us such information. The record concerning your son shows that he became missing in action in the Philippine islands following the fall of Corregidor and that he was continued in missing in action status following a review of his case after 12 months' absence.

"Full consideration has recently been given to all available information bearing on the absence of your son, including all records, reports and circumstances. These have been carefully reviewed and considered. In view of the fact that 2 years have now expired without the receipt of evidence to support a continued presumptive finding of death.

"Accordingly, an official finding of death has been recorded under the provision of Public Law 490, 77th Congress, as amended. The finding does not establish an actual or probable date of death; however, as required by law, it includes a presumptive date of death for the termination of pay and allowances, settlement of accounts and payment of death gratuities. In the case of your son this date has been set as May 8, 1944.

"I regret the necessity for this message but trust that the ending of a long period of uncertainty may give at least some small measure of consolation. An appraisal of the suffering endured and the sacrifices made by your son in the service of his country compels in us feelings of humility and respect. May Providence grant a measure of relief from the anguish and anxiety you have experienced during these many months."

Sgt. Peterson enlisted for foreign service on Aug. 11, 1941, and was immediately sent to the Philippines. No word other than that he was still listed among the missing had been received by the Petersons until this recent communication.

Sgt. Peterson was born on Feb. 24, 1917, near Grafton, and had lived in Worth county most of his life. He was graduated from Plymouth high school in 1935, and was a member of the English Lutheran church at Manly. Before entering the service he was employed for a short time at the Rock Island arsenal, Rock Island, Ill.

Surviving besides his parents are 3 brothers: Pvt. Raymond Peterson in England; Robert and Martin, Jr., Mason City; 2 sisters, Mrs. Art White, Bolan, and Phyllis at home.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Tuesday, May 23, 1944, Page 3

Ralph Richard Petersen was born Feb. 24, 1917 to Martin and Martha Paulsen Petersen. He died May 19, 1942 and is buried in Manila American Cemetery, Taguig City, Philippines.

Sgt. Petersen served in World War II with the U.S. Army Headquarters Company, Luzon Force and died as a POW in a Japanese POW camp in Philippine Islands. He was awarded the Bronze Star. **Notice the alt spelling of the surname

Source: ancestry.com