SGT Peter Richard Cressman was killed in action 5 February 1973, when the EC-47 aircraft, callsign BARON 52, on which he was serving as an Airborne Morse Systems Operator, was downed by enemy fire over southern Laos. Baron 52 was the last EC-47 lost to enemy fire.
SGT Cressman was born on 23 May 1951, in Glen Ridge, NJ and graduated from Indian Hills High School, Oakland, NJ in 1969.
SGT Cressman enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on 28 August 1969. He completed basic training at Lackland AFB, TX and Morse Code training at Keesler AFB, MS. On 21 June 1972, he was assigned to Det 3, 6994th Security Squadron, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.
SGT Cressman’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously), Purple Heart (Posthumously), and the Air Medal (1st OLC) Posthumously).
SGT Cressman is interred in a communal grave in section 34, site 4402, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. His name is engraved on the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall on Panel 1W, line 114.
In July 1996, Goodfellow AFB renamed one of its dining facilities the Cressman Dining Facility in SGT Cressman’s honor, and there is also a bridge named for him over the Ramapo River in Oakland, NJ.