Retired June 1, 1968.
Norman Lewis Peterson was born in Houston, Texas, in 1911. After graduation from Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, Texas, he entered Yale University at New Haven, Conn., from which he graduated in 1932 with a bachelor of arts degree, having majored in history.
He earned his pilot wings at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1935, and was commissioned a second lieutenant reserve in the Army Air Corps Feb. 29, 1936. He became a regular second lieutenant Oct. 1, 1936. Following a number of Air Corps assignments, he returned to school for advanced study. In 1940, General Peterson, then a first lieutenant, received a master's degree in meteorology from the California Institute of Technology at Pasadena. His thesis subject for the degree was "The Origin and Movement of Tropical Hurricanes."
After duty as station weather officer at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., General Peterson became commander of the 2d Weather Region, in November 1942.
In September 1943, he was transferred to the South Pacific theater as staff weather officer and commander of the 17th Weather Region. In July of the following year, General Peterson left the Air Weather Service to serve on the staff of Lieutenant General Millard F Harmon, commander of Army Air Forces in the Pacific Ocean Area.
For his work in the Pacific theater of operations during World War II, General Peterson received the Air Medal and the Bronze Star Medal. Upon returning to the United States in September 1945, General Peterson served as commander of the 400th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Headquarters 4th Air Force) for a year and as commander of the 465th Army Air Forces Base Unit at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., for another year.
In 1947, General Peterson served as chief of staff of the 59th Weather Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. He attended the Air War College in 1948, and upon graduation was assigned as commanding officer of the 108th Air Weather Group at Westover Air Force Base, Mass., in 1949.
In May of 1951, he took over the duties of commander of the 2d Weather Wing at Wiesbaden, Germany, and of staff weather officer for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
In August 1954, General Peterson returned to the United States to become deputy commander of the Air Weather Service. On March 28, 1958, he became commander of the Air Weather Service, serving in that capacity until Major General H.H. Bassett assumed command Nov. 13, 1958. General Peterson served as vice commander until he reassumed command Oct. 31, 1959.
General Peterson was assigned as commander, Pacific Communications Area (Air Force Communications Service) April 1, 1963, with his headquarters in Hawaii. He also assumed the responsibility as assistant chief of staff, Communications-Electronics on the staff of the commander in chief, Pacific Air Forces. General Peterson's command provides communications and navigational aids for the Air Force and other organizations in the vast area from Hawaii to Korea and Republic of Vietnam in Asia, and from Northern Japan in the north to Australia in the south.
General Peterson is a rated single and multi-engine command pilot, a councilor and professional member of the American Meteorological Society, a member of the American Geophysical Union, and a member of the Order of Daedalians.