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Oscar Peterson, DSC

3/21/2009:

Oscar W. Peterson was a boiler-maker in Jamestown before he joined the Army in 1917. On this date in 1918, he was promoted from corporal to sergeant, and two months later he was shipped overseas, where he served in France during WWI.

Peterson was attached to Company A, 59th Infantry, which was engaged in an offensive at Aisne-Marne. For his actions near Chourchamps, on July 19, 1918, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the military's second highest award for heroism. His citation reads: "Discovering the enemy making a counter attack to the left flank of his platoon, Sergeant Peterson immediately organized a combat group of 25 men, and though greatly outnumbered by the Germans, he succeeded in routing them, inspiring his men by his disregard of personal danger. He was severely wounded later in the day, but he refused to go to the rear until he had reorganized his platoon an hour and a half later."

Peterson survived his wounds and was discharged six months later.

By Merry Helm

Sources:

Roster of the Men and Women who served in the Army or Naval Service (including the Marine Corps) of the United States or its Allies from the State of North Dakota in the World War, 1917-1918 Volume 3 Larkee to Rice. Web. (1 Jan 2009)