Oscar V. Peterson was born in Prentis, Wisconsin, on 27 August 1899. He enlisted in the Navy in December 1920 and saw extensive sea service during the following two decades. In April 1941, he joined the crew of USS Neosho (AO-23). On 7 May 1942, during the Battle of Coral Sea, after Neosho was heavily damaged by Japanese bombers, Chief Water Tender Peterson received severe burns while endeavoring to save his ship. He died of these injuries on 13 May 1942. Oscar Verner Peterson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism on that occasion.
USS Peterson (DE-152) was named in honor of Chief Water Tender Oscar Verner Peterson.
This page features our only photograph of Oscar Verner Peterson.
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Photo #: 80-G-44115
Chief Water Tender Oscar Verner Peterson, USN
Photographed circa the later 1930s.
He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in attempting to save USS Neosho (AO-23) after she was bombed during the Battle of Coral Sea, 7 May 1942.
USS Peterson (DE-152) was named in his honor.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.
Online Image: 56KB; 550 x 765 pixels
Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.
11 May 1999