We have among us at this time one of the best known and best
liked “old salts” of the Coast Survey fleet in the
person of John Petterson.
John is working in the wood shop in the Instrument Division,
and since reporting he has been greeted by many of the officers
wh have served with him on ships during the past number of years.
Mr. Pettersen has been in the service about 42 years, serving
most of the time as Boatswain. He has witnessed the growth of
the Bureau and seen many of our high ranking officers come along
from their rank of Deck Officer to their advanced rank of today.
He is adopting himself well to his shore duty but says he tires
before the day is over.
We suspect that John misses blowing the old Bosn’s whistle
to “pipe down” the crew and the ever rolling deck
under his feet, but as soon as gets rid of his “sea legs”
he no doubt will be okay.
“The Buzzard,” April 1942.
Our sea-faring crew and many of the old timers as the Baltimore
Office will regret the passing of John Petterson, Chief Boatswain,
on Sunday, February 27, at his home in Baltimore.
Boatswain Petterson was born in Latvia on April 18, 1873, and
entered the Coast Survey on May 10, 1898, as a seaman aboard
the Schooner EAGRE. During his many years of service he served
aboard the HYDROGRAPHER, the ISIS, and the BACHE under many
of our officers, such as Adm. Colbert, Capt. Borden, Comdr.
Studds, Comdr. Eyman and many others. During World War I he
was transferred to the Navy when the ISIS was turned over to
them. He also had a cruise with the Coast Guard aboard the revenue
cutter COLFAX in 1907 and saw action in the Spanish-American
War. He retired from duty on April 30, 1943, and was recalled
on May 1, 1943. He served his years of land duty in the Washington
Office and the last few years at the Baltimore Office where
he was very popular. His magnificent physique, his sea stories
and his good humor made him a very popular figure and he will
be much missed.
The BUZZARD, Feb.? March 1944