Peter Bertelli was born, in Bingham Canyon, Utah, on December 30, 1906, son of Frank and Mary (Machiorletti) Bertelli. After attending Springfield, Illinois, High School, he enlisted in the Navy on October 6, 1923, and was honorably discharged on April 24, 1926. On June 15, 1932, he enlisted in the US Naval Reserve, and his enlistment was terminated to accept appointment as Ensign, USNR, on December 8, 1937. Through subsequent promotions, he attained the rank of Commander to date on July 1, 1951, having served in that rank (temporary) from February 1946 to July 1947.
During his period of enlisted service, he had duty with the Signal Force of the US Navy, and as Radioman in the Naval Reserve. After his appointment as Ensign in December 1937, he was a Commanding Officer of Unit 1, Section 1, NCR, in the Eleventh Naval District, prior to being called to active duty. A radio amateur since 1932, he received letters of commendation from the Commandant of the Eleventh Naval District for voluntary communication duty during the Long Beach-Los Angeles earthquake in 1933, and in the Southern California flood emergency 1938. In 1933 he placed seventh in the annual nation-wide Navy Day Message receiving competition for which he received a commendatory letter from the Secretary of the Navy, and in 1938 received a similar letter for perfect copy of the Navy Day Message.
Reporting for active duty on August 30, 1940, he served during the period prior to and immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in the Office of the Commandant Eleventh Naval District, San Diego, California, as Communication Watch Officer, and on the Coding Board. From May 1942 until March 1944, he had duty with the US Naval Administrative Group, at the Advanced Base, British Samoa, attached to the Third Marine Brigade, US Marines. Upon his return to the United States in June 1944, he reported to the Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts, where for six months he served as Assistant Radio Material Officer for shore stations.
During latter part of the war, he was assigned to the US Naval Operating Base, Okinawa, first as Staff Communication Officer to Commander Naval Bases, and later as Executive Officer of the Naval Operating Base. Detached in May 1947, he had similar duty from July of that year to June 1949 at the Naval Operating Base, Trinidad, serving briefly as Executive Officer of that Base until ordered to the Navy Department, Washington, DC, where from July to September 1949, he served with Task Force SIXTY SIX, engaged in planning for the last proposed expedition to the South Pole with Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, which did not then materialize.
In October 1949 he was assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service, Washington, DC, where he served first as Head of the Operations Branch, Communication Division, and since 1951 as Director of the Communication Division. He is now under orders to report in the near future to Military Sea Transportation Service, Atlantic, Brooklyn, New York.
Commander Bertelli has the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.