Lyle Leonard Peterson never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on January 17, 1918 in Wisconsin. His mother Loretta was also born in Wisconsin. His father Thomas was born in Denmark and worked as a saw mill machinist. He died of suicide in 1921. Lyle had an older sister and three older brothers. His mother remarried and had a boy and a girl. Her second husband left her to raise her children on her own.
By 1940 Lyle had completed 8 years of schooling. He worked as a roofing sider and was married to the former Margaret Moes. They had a son and a daughter.
He enlisted in the navy on May 27, 1944 and became a seaman second class on the destroyer USS Warrington. Warrington was steaming off of the east coast of Florida when it was caught by the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane. The category 4 hurricane shipped water in the ship's engineering spaces during the early hours of September 13, 1944. It lost electric power and the capability to steer. The Hurricane created 70 foot waves. The crew could not keep the ship afloat so the order to abandon ship was given and she sank at 12:50 pm. Rescuers found 73 survivors. Seaman Peterson was one of the 248 men who were lost at sea.
In a strange coincidence, his daughter would also drown a few hundred miles away at age 16.
His cenotaph grave is at Evergreen Cemetery in Oconto, Wisconsin. His widow remarried and died in 1994.
Last year on this date I profiled Hollis Hamilton of the 7th Infantry Division. You can read his story here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100