- Born March 2, 1932, in Topeka, Kan., Frank E. Petersen Jr. joined the U.S. Navy as a seaman apprentice in June 1950 where he served as an electronics technician and in 1951 entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program.
- In October 1952, Petersen completed flight training and accepted a commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
- Petersen served two combat tours: Korea in 1953 and Vietnam in 1968. He flew more than 350 combat missions and had more than 4,000 hours in various fighter/attack aircraft.
- He was the first African American Marine Corps aviator and the first African American Marine Corps officer to be promoted to brigadier general.
- At the time of his retirement in August 1988, Lieutenant General Petersen was, by date of aviator designation, the senior ranking aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy with respective titles of “Silver Hawk” and “Grey Eagle.
Ship's sponsor is Mrs. D'Arcy Neller
Navy League of the United States
P.O. Box 62606
North Charleston,SC 29419
The Navy League of the United States, founded in 1902 with the support of President Theodore Roosevelt, is a nonprofit civilian, educational and advocacy organization that supports America’s sea services: the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine. Through national and local programs, the Navy League of the United States provides a powerful voice to educate the public and Congress on the importance of our sea services to our nation’s defense, well-being and economic prosperity. The Navy League provides support to our sea services personnel and their families and youth programs, such as the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Junior ROTC and Young Marines, that expose young people to the values of our sea services