Atkinson, Peter William "PW"

Last Name:

First Name:
Peter William
Born / Oct. 25, 1941
Martinsburg, WV
1st Squadron "Adam & Eves"
Wing man
Distiguished Flying Cross (posthumous)
Pre AVG: 2LT pilot, Army Air Corps Reserve
AVG Service: Recruited into the AVG as a contract employee of CAMCO under secret presidential authority.  Departed Port of San Francisco on July 10, 1941 with 122 other AVG.  Traveled to Rangoon, Burma aboard the Dutch M/V JAGERSFONTEIN. Roomates in stateroom #3 were also Army pilots, David Harris & Parker Dupouy.  Killed Oct. 25th due to mechanical failure while flight testing a P-40B in a high speed dive on the AVG training base at Kyedaw Airfield, Toungoo, Burma.  PW was buried in grave #3 at the Airmen's Cemetery at St. Luke's Anglican Church.  Catholic service conducted by AVG Chaplain Paul W. Frillmann.
Post War Career:
1991 - AVG granted veterans status (declassified documents revealed AVG was on a covert mission under presidential authority)

1992 - AVG awarded Presidential Unit Citation

1996 - AVG pilots awarded DFC by Gen. Ronald Fogelman, CSAF USAF at AVG FTA Reunion in Dallas, TX.
In 1947 an Army Graves Registration Service (AGRS) team went to the cemetery of St. Luke's Anglican Church in Toungoo, Burma. Thanks to information from the cemetery caretaker the AGRS team disinterred four sets of remains identified as AVG and transferred them to Barrackpore, India where autopsies were conducted on the skeletal remains and they were classified (as X-633,634,635,636) and re-buried. In late 1948 they were disinterred and transferred to Hawaii where, on Mar 22-23, 1949, they were interred in the Punchbowl Cemetery on Oahu, Hawaii. They rested in peace for 67 years until JPAC staff reviewed the files and notified 3 families. Through their efforts and many contacts with JPAC officials and congressmen the remains were disinterred on April 11, 2016 and DNA samples were immediately sent to the DNA ID Lab. Families were notified on January 4, 2017 that a positive ID had been made. The remains of X-635 have been positively identified as that of Peter William Atkinson. The families now await the return of their long lost loved Tigers.....

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