Remains of Minnesota airman killed in during WWII identified

The remains of a Minnesota airman who was killed while on a bombing run in Romania in 1943 have been identified.

U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Alan E. Peterson, of Brownton, Minnesota, was killed in the summer of 1943 when the B-24 where was serving as a bombardier was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire.

The mission, Operation TIDAL WAVE, was the largest bombing mission launched against the oil fields and refineries in Ploiesti north of Bucharest, Romania.

Following Peterson’s plane being shot down his unidentified remains were buried in the Hero Section of the Civilian and Military Cemetery of Bolovan, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania. 

After the war the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) began the process of disinterring and identifying the remains of fallen American personnel buried at the Bolovan Cemetery. The AGRC was unable to identify around 80 remains. Those remains were transferred to the Ardennes American Cemetery and Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, in Belgium.

In 2017 the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency began exhuming remains of those who died during Operation TIDAL WAVE. Remains were sent to the DPAA lab in Nebraska. 

Peterson was accounted for in July of 2021. His remains are being returned to Minnesota and a funeral is planned for October in Glencoe.