Peter Richard Cressman

United States Air Force
23 May 1951 - 05 February 1973
Wayne, New Jersey
Panel 01W Line 114



USAF Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Peter Richard Cressman

09 Nov 2002

Pete, I've worn your bracelet every day since 1973.
And you are in my daily prayers as well.
The crew of Baron 52 is not forgotten.

A memorial initiated by a friend and former roommate,
Tom Crowley
12 Nov 2002

Pete, it's been far too long and many, many years since I last shook your hand and said "Goodbye", not knowing it was the last goodbye.

You and I were friends and served together in Alaska and it was I that you asked to take you to the airport to catch your flight for your trip to Viet Nam. Little did we know it would be the final trip.

We had agreed that I would see you soon as I too was en route to Thailand and actually arrived the week after your plane went missing.

I've attempted many times to contact your mother and your family but just could not come to do it. I'm not sure why but you have never been out of my mind and never out of my thoughts.

I finished my 30-year active duty military career, never forgetting the sacrifice you and many others made that we might continue to serve. I now work for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Hanging over my desk is a picture of the "wall" and an etching of your name with my dog tags hanging down. I remind everyone and anyone who takes a moment to look, "that's why I'm here and why each of us can never forget."

Rest in peace, ole friend, and know that I'll never forget you and what you did for your country.

Your friend and fellow airman,
Bill Strickland
3110 Chana Creek Road, Eclectic, Alabama 36024

13 Feb 2003

Dearest Peter,

It's been a long time. We attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help together, then went on to Indian Hills ...

How quickly time passes. I've visited the 'Wall' twice. But I've kept you in my thoughts, and your family in my prayers, daily. It was YOU, who kept me 'sane' through Catholic school. YOU, made me smile when I didn't think I could overcome the sad inside. YOU, were always aware of the damaged, frail ego created by an overbearing Father. You would notice the fresh bruises and take the time, make that extra effort, to engage a smile, listen for a laugh. For that I am truely grateful. I overcame that situation, moving west, to Phoenix, as soon as legally possible. I have since married, divorced, re-married and have three wonderful children. I know I was a better parent. I know that because you took the extra time to show me my self worth. I focused on 'humor' getting over life's hurdles. Which was another thing YOU showed me, through example.

I wish I could hug you and tell you I made it out all right. I wish I could know you made it, somewhere. The uncertainty is the killer. As we cross paths once again I'll extend that hug and wait and listen for our combined laughter. I miss you, we all do. I was very fortunate to have you on my side. Thanks for being YOU.

Sincerely with much love,
Corinne McIntyre

Phoenix, AZ

13 Oct 2003


I've worn your bracelet every day since 1999. That's over 100 missions I've taken you with me. You don't know how many times I've looked down at that bracelet and thought of what you sacrificed and why I do what I do.

You are not forgotten, my Brother.

From an Airborne Linguist and MIA Bracelet wearer,
Aaron Attridge
Technical Sergeant, USAF
PSC 37 Box 3125 APO, AE 09459

16 Mar 2004

I was given your Bracelet by your mother and I wore it all the time until a friend decided to take it from me. I was only two when you didn't come home. I even got in touch with your brother once when there was a article in the newspaper about you. I myself was born in May on the 18th. I wish I still had your bracelet that the friend decided to take but I have never forgotten that day when I recieved your bracelet. I even had my daughter go to the Wall because I was out of town. My Mother got a picture of my daughter pointing to your name. I sure hope one day I can again get a new bracelet with your name on it because my grandfather was also in the Air Force and he was very proud to be a part of it.

Susan Wolff
New Port Richey, Florida 34653

5 Jul 2004

Peter, you may not remember me, but I remember you.
I was on duty with the 6924th SS at Ramasun Army Station,
Thailand, 5 Feb 73, when Baron 52 went down. It was one
of those nights that we all feared the most,
when one of our planes would be lost.

I do remember teletyping you a message a few days before the last
mission and finding out that you were still okay. Your bracelet
is always on my left arm and I'll wear it until you can't read the
name any more and then I'll get a new one.

Rest well my friend, wherever you are.

From a fellow USAFSS Sergeant and MIA Bracelet Wearer,
Darrol L. Brown

13 Jan 2005

God Bless Peter "Pete" Cressman and his Family... I joined the USAF Security Police in 1980. I loved being an SP and was one of the best in my day... then I met a Vietnam Veteran SP... bought my first POWMIA bracelet in honor of Pete in 1983... I bought a second in D.C. at the Wall in 1994... I never took off the first bracelet and it broke, worn thin on the right side, on 20 July 1999 and began wearing #2. I have watched your case over the years, my brother, and grieve what our country has done to you and so many more. I left the USAF/SPs in 1987 began a career in civilian law enforcement, went into private consulting in 1998 and have worked for the military over the last two years as a physical security analyst and consultant... and you have always been there... every traffic stop, every arrest, every fight, traveled to every country, every firefight and every inspection, assessment, operation or mission... God Bless you.

From a brother in arms,
Peter A. "Pete" Nutt
715 Valley Drive, Jonesboro, Ar 72401

01 Jun 2005

I haven't been in this site for quite a while. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you all for wearing Peter "Pete" R. Cressman's bracelet. I never had the priviledge to meet him. I know him through your postings. His brother Pat and I were best friends and he was my "adopted brother". Pat fought his whole life trying to find out what happened to Pete. Unfortuantely, Pat's fight stopped with a sudden heart attack almost two years ago. I survive Pat's death knowing he now knows what happened to his brother. Because of all of you, I am going to try and keep the fight going in memory of Pat and Pete. You have given me the strength. I can tell you with all my heart that four of the crew of the Baron 52 DID NOT die at the crash site. I am not good at the "technical things" so I may ask some of you for help. Please don't take those bracelets off.

From an "adopted sister",
Sharon R. Barnett
Overland Park, Kansas

11 Oct 2005

I have worn Peter's bracelet for over twenty years and do to this day. I pray for his family often, seeking God's blessings and comfort for them and thanking them for their sacrifices.

Jerry Harrold, USAF (Retired)

18 Dec 2005

Sgt. Peter R. Cressman, I received your bracelet from my brother who is also in the USAF. He was wearing it and I asked him about it and he gave it to me. I wear it every day and think of you and your family and whenever anyone asks I tell them it is for you. I have the utmost respect and adoration for you and your fellow soldiers who fought in this war and all other wars, this war we are in. My brother is there now. I pray for you and your family. I am thankful for all that you did.

LeBeth S. Carr

27 Dec 2005

Hello, I am Peter R. Cressman's nephew. My father is Robert Cressman.

I just wanted to say "Thank You" to all those who are still keeping the faith. I was very young when my grandmother, Evelyn Cressman, and her other sons were very involved in this matter.

I never had the chance to meet my Uncle Peter as some of you have, but I was honored enough to be given his name. It's nice to see all of your support!

From his nephew,
Peter Joseph Cressman
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

26 Mar 2006

Thank You so much for serving for our country.

I am an 8th grade student who has just returned from a visit to Washington D.C. As a souvenir I purchased a "metal memories" bracelet. It is yours. I will always remember you.

Greg Ogne

16 Apr 2006

Please keep the faith and remember Peter is alive. My husband dedicated his entire life for the cause of all POW/MIAS. His life ended suddenly, leaving behind all of you friends who became his family. Thank you for keeping this alive. Thank you all for everything you did for me at the time of Patrick's demise.

Sincerely from Peter's sister-in-law,
Robin Cressman

07 Oct 2006

I have worn your name on my left wrist since October 1987. It truly is a part of me. I get constant questions about why I wear someone else's name on my wrist. Unfortunately, Sergeant Cressman, the world is full of people who couldn't care less about sacrifice and will never understand what loyalty really means. My children often ask me why I wear it and beg me to take it off to let them wear it as jewelry. I love my children dearly but they now understand why I wear it. And they are starting to understand the price that was paid for them prior to their arrival here on earth. I think of you often and felt compelled to leave a poem for you and your family that I feel is apropos for anyone who understands respect and bravery.

At the next vacancy for God, if I am elected,
I shall forgive last the delicately wounded who,
having been slugged no harder than anyone else,
never got up again, neither to fight back,
nor to finger their jaws in painful admiration.

They who are wholly broken,
and they in whom mercy is understanding,
I shall embrace at once and lead to pillows in heaven.
But they who are the meek by trade,
baiting the best of their betters
with extortions of a mock-helplessness,
I shall take last to love, and never wholly.

Let them all in Heaven - I abolish Hell -
but let it be read over them as they enter:
"Beware the calculations of the meek,
who gambled nothing, gave nothing,
and could never receive enough."

Chris Hartnett
USAF 1981-1985

21 Nov 2006

Peter, you came into my life on two separate occasions.

The second occasion was in the late 80's when I sent away for three POW-MIA bracelets, one for myself and the other two for my young daughters. I simply was amazed to see the bracelet for me had your name on it. I looked at the date, and it came back to me immediately.

The first occasion was on Feb 9th, 1973. I was on alert at Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, with the 40th ARRS. To be short, I was on the rescue mission that went to your crash site that day. I am a "PJ" or Pararescuemann and was lowered to the ground for the search.

My youngest daughter recently was searching the net. She was the one also with your bracelet. She just sent this website to me. I am glad that she did. Sir, you are not forgotten and will always be remembered as a Brother.

From a USAF Pararescueman, 70-74,
Bruce Johnson
Dunnellon, Fl

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On February 5, 1973, about a week after the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement, an EC-47Q aircraft was shot down over Saravane Province, Laos, about 50 miles east of the city of Saravane. The crew of the aircraft included
  • Capt George R. Spitz, pilot
  • 2Lt Severo J. Primm III, co-pilot
  • Capt Arthur R. Bollinger, aircrew
  • 1Lt Robert E. Bernhardt, aircrew
  • Sgt Dale Brandenburg, systems operator
  • Sgt Joseph A. Matejov, systems operator
  • Sgt Peter R. Cressman, systems operator
  • SSgt Todd M. Melton, systems operator
Spitz, Primm, Bernhardt, and Bollinger were assigned to the 361st Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron at Nakhon Phanom Airbase, Thailand. The four "back-end" crewmen were members of the 6994th Security Squadron, Ubon, Thailand.

Although search and rescue efforts began immediately, the crash site was not located until the 7th. Three rescuemen were lowered to the wreckage on the 9th. They saw at least four bodies, some still strapped in their seats, but were able to recover only one - 1Lt Bernhardt. The crash site was not revisited, and over the years the Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the other seven men.

There were intermittant reports that one or more of the men may have survived and been captured (see Sgt Joseph A. Matejov's memorial), but those reports were dismissed when the Joint Task Force excavated the wreckage in 1993. Although the fragmented remains that were recovered could not be individually identified, the team did locate all 8 parachute "D"-rings, indicating that none of the men were able to leave the aircraft before ground impact.

The Defense Department's POW/Missing Personnel Office reports that the comingled remains of these men were recovered, repatriated, and given a group burial in December 1995.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend and former roommate,
Tom Crowley

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index C
NJ State Index . Panel 01W
6994TH SEC SQDN Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 9 Nov 2002
Last updated 01/04/2007