28 February 1941 – The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a “day fighter”, the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948
Kenneth S. Peterson
Ken Peterson was born 20 May 1944 in Detroit, MI, to a WWII Army Major and a mostly stay-at-home-Mom who also taught at Vassar College. He grew up just across the Hudson River from West Point, N.Y., and in Gilmanton Iron Works, NH. Ken received a degree in engineering and a commission as a 2Lt. from Penn State University in 1966.
He received the Flying Training Award in his UPT class 67-G at Moody AFB and was Top Gun of his F-100 CCTS at Cannon AFB, NM. After flying 212 missions in the F-100 in Viet Nam, he converted to the F-101 and graduated first in his class. It was a short-lived tour at Suffolk County AFB, as they soon transferred their F-101s to the Bangor, Maine, Air National Guard. Ken finished his extended active duty assignment as a dual-qualified instructor functional check pilot in the T-37 and T-38 at Craig AFB, AL.
He joined the Guard at Otis Air National Guard Base in 1971 flying the F-100 and transitioned to the F-106 in 1972. He was hired by Eastern Air Lines in 1973. He and hundreds of other Eastern pilots were furloughed in 1974 for the next 4 years. Ken “worked full time for part-time pay” at the Guard for those intervening years, performing IP/FE/FCF duties and earning a Master of Air Defense rating in the F-106. From 1978 to 1990 Ken flew for both Eastern and the Air Guard competing as a team captain and team leader in three William Tell World Wide Weapons meets, sitting air defense alert, and flying his own LA-4 Lake Amphibian.
In 1979 he married Susan (Kennedy) Peterson and they have two children. In 1987 his unit converted to the F-15A/B, and in 1990 when Eastern terminated service Ken went back full time with the Guard. His final military assignment was as the Commander, 102 Fighter Wing, Otis ANGB as an O-7. While commanding at Otis he was responsible for a 22,000-acre military reservation with 19 tenant organizations, including Army National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard flying units in addition to his own F-15 Fighter Wing. Ken was fully qualified in the F-15 throughout his command. In 1997 he retired from the military having flown fighter aircraft for 30 years, and joined Delta Air Lines, retiring as a Captain in 2004.
He maintains an aviation safety consulting business, helps his wife, Dr. Susan K. Peterson, and her educational consulting business, and helps to move their two USAF officer children and USAF officer son-in-law about the country/world when needed. Daughter (Lt. Col. Erin Peterson Hayde) is a USAF Weapons School Distinguished Graduate, was a Weapons School instructor and is currently the Executive Officer to the 12th AF/CC. Her husband (Lt. Col. Ryan T. Hayde) was a Distinguished Graduate and A-10 IP at the USAF Weapons School and is now the 354FS/CC. Son (Capt. Adam K. Peterson) is a UPT Distinguished Graduate, Top Gun graduate of his F-15E Course and Red River Rat awardee and Top Gun of his first deployment from Lakenheath to Tyndall AFB to live fire. He is currently matriculating at the USAF Weapons School.
Ken believes in community service. In his retirement years, he has served as an elected member of the NH House of Representatives and as an elected Town Councilor in Bedford, NH. He also serves as the elected Chair of the Trustees of the Trust funds of Bedford, NH and has been a member of the Town Safety Committee for 15 years