R.I.P: U.S. Marine Corps First Black General & Aviator, Frank Petersen, Dies At 83 – American Military News

R.I.P: U.S. Marine Corps First Black General & Aviator, Frank Petersen, Dies At 83

In a statement released by the Marine Corps,Gen. John Paxton, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps called Frank Petersen “a pioneer and role model in many ways, a stellar leader, Marine officer and aviator.”

This is an apt description for a true American hero and the first black Marine to become a General officer when he was appointed to brigadier general in 1979.

Petersen flew 350 combat missions in both Korea and Vietnam. For his service in Korea he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. In Vietnam he took anti-aircraft fire, wounding him and his plane. For his valor he was awarded the Purple Heart.

Frank Petersen represents the best of our nation. Please join us in praying for him and his family.

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From the Wall Street Journal:

Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen Jr., the first black aviator and the first black general in the U.S. Marine Corps, died Tuesday, according to a release Wednesday from the Marine Corps. He was 83.

Gen. Petersen forged a path in his career of firsts not only for other black Marines but for minorities in the military at a time when the Department of Defense was wrestling with desegregation of the armed forces.

He was “a pioneer and role model in many ways, a stellar leader, Marine officer and aviator,” said Gen. John Paxton, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, in a statement.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal

What type of impact did Petersen have on our nation’s military? Share how you will remember him in the comments below!