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Adam R. Hornbuckle

the third of four children of Frank E. Petersen and Edith Sutthard Petersen. His father, a former sugarcane plantation worker in his native St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, owned a radio repair shop and worked as a salesman for General Electric; his mother worked as a teacher. Petersen grew up fascinated with flight, watching B-29 bombers take off from nearby Forbes Field during World War II.

After graduating from Topeka High School in 1949, Petersen wanted to join the military, but his mother would not grant him permission. Instead he enrolled in Washburn University in Topeka. After turning eighteen in 1950 and no longer needing his parents permission Petersen enlisted in the US Navy After scoring exceptionally well on the entrance exam he was asked to retake the test Scoring high again the testing administrator exclaimed Petersen my boy the Navy has opportunities for guys like you My ...