Editor’s note: World War II officially ended Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed surrender terms. We’re honoring the war’s area veterans over the next several months with these brief profiles.
C.H. “Burt” Peterson
Date of birth: Oct. 25, 1915
Dates of service: Oct. 18, 1941 to Aug. 15, 1945
Lives in: Clovis
Theater and location of service: Europe
Rank: Technician 5th grade
Unit and specialty: 254th Combat Engineers
In his words: Burt Peterson was part of the offensive on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, on D-Day.
“I lost the best friend I ever had on that beach. He got killed with a mine,” Peterson said.
He said his friend died just a couple of hundred yards from him.
“There were a lot of mines. You tried to miss (them), but you didn’t know where they (were). There were so many of us — you had to keep moving with the rest of the men.
“I wasn’t thinking about anything except getting off of the beach” Peterson said.
There were so many American soldiers on the beach, Peterson described it as “hectic” with men pushing from behind, trying to make their way off the landing boats and move forward.
“You (didn’t) have time to be scared. It was just too many people” he said.
World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail: