Defenders of the Philippines

picture of captivity and picture of release form captivity

Magnor Andreas "Pete"Peterson



Magnor Peterson PictureMagnor  Peterson "Pete" was born October 16, 1914 in Oslo, Norway.  His family moved to Havre, Montana when he was three years old and he attended high school there at Havre High School.  After he graduated he worked on Montana ranches.

Pete joined the U.S.  Army Corps in 1940 and was assigned to the 19th Bomb Group, 93rd Bomb Squadron and shipped out to the Philippines in 1941.  He went to Clark Field and after the bombings and his superiors ordered him to evacuate to the Bataan peninsula on Christmas Day.  He was surrendered to the Japanese at Mariveles Air Field on April 7,  1942.  He endured the Bataan Death March,  and stayed at Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan.  He then worked at Bonto-Camp John Hays. The Japanese sent him on  work details at Corregidor and Bilibid Prison.

He shipped out on the hellship "Taga Maru" to Fuji, Japan and went to a prison camp at Funatsu-Sosaka area.  His forced labor occurred at a lead mine at an iron smelter works in a mountain near Osaka.  He pushed loaded dump cars along a narrow rail track .  His liberation occurred on August 25, 1945.  Later he was sent to the Philippines to testify at war crime trials.

Peterson stayed on in the service first for the Air Force, and then as a civil employee for the Air Force.  He served as a jet mechanic on F-102 fighter planes at the Portland Airbase until 1968.  Then he worked for Columbia Machine.
and retired in 1977.  He was a charter member of the Messiah Lutheran Church.  He belonged to the ADBC Northwest Chapter, and the Fort Vancouver Chapter of American Ex-Prisoners of War.

He was married Bernice Cora, and had three children, two daughter and a son. Magnor "Pete" Peterson passed away on April 3, 2009 in Vancouver, Washington.