Senior Master Sgt. (Ret.) Phillip E. Peterman joined the Air Force in June 1974; just a month after graduating from Bowdle High School in Bowdle, S.D.
Peterman was a C-5 Galaxy crew chief and was later chosen to become a flight engineer. As a C-5 Galaxy flight engineer, he deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. While deployed at Clark Air Base, Philippines in June 1982, Peterman played an active role during an in-flight emergency during take-off. “I remember having an engine explode on take-off,” Peterman said. “My first instinct was to calm our 80 passengers down, be prepared for the emergency return to the airfield and help evacuate the passengers and air crew.”
In 1991, Peterman was awarded an Air Medal for flying more than ten combat support missions during Operation Desert Storm from January to March 1991. He was also selected as the Air Mobility Command and 436th Training Squadron C-5 Instructor Flight Engineer of the Year in 1994 at Dover Air Force Base, Del.
After completing his 28-year active duty career and retiring in 2002, Peterman continues to use his leadership skills in his hometown of Bowdle volunteering with the fire department, American Legion Post, city council and his church cemetery.