Speakers Profile - Pete Pettigrew

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RADM Kenneth W. Pettigrew is a native of Glencoe, Illinois. He graduated from Stanford University in June 1964, under the Regular NROTC Program with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Science. While at Stanford, he was twice selected as an All-American in swimming and water polo and was a member of the 1963 National Championship Water Polo Team. He reported to flight training in November 1964 and was designated a naval aviator in June 1966.

Upon completion of Fleet Replacement Training at VF-121, RADM Pettigrew reported to VF-151 flying the F-4 "Phantom II." He served 24 months with the "Vigilantes", completing two 10- month combat cruises aboard USS CORAL SEA (CV-43). In April 1969, he reported to VF-121 as the senior Landing Signal Officer (LSD). In 1970 he was sent to the fledgling Navy fighter Weapons School as an air-to-air and air-to-ground instructor. Upon leaving "TOPGUN" in January 1972, he reported to Carrier Air Wing II aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63), for duty as the air wing LSO and it was during the ensuing cruise that he was credited with downing a North Vietnamese MiG-21.

In the Naval Reserve, RADM Pettigrew was initially assigned to VF-302. In 1979, he reported as commanding officer of VF-1285 and followed this tour as commanding officer of VF- 302 from 1980 to 1982. He was then assigned as program manager for the F/A-18 "Hornet", spearheading its introduction into the Naval Reserve. He served as commanding officer of NAVAlRPAC 1094 from 1986 to 1988. Selected for Flag Rank in 1990, he has been assigned as Commander, Maritime Defense Force, Aleutian Islands, Deputy Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Deputy Third Fleet Commander and as Commander, Naval Reserve Readiness Command, Region Eleven. His last assignment before retiring was Deputy CINCLANTFLT.

Since release from active duty in August of 1973, RADM Pettigrew has been employed by USAIRWAYS (formerly Pacific Southwest Airlines) where he has been retired since 2002. RADM Pettigrew has played an active role in the Airline Pilots Association serving six years as Master Executive Council Chairman for the PSA pilots and two years as Executive Vice President of the National Airline Pilots Associations. From 1983 until 1986 he was employed by Paramount Pictures, working as the technical advisor on the feature "TOPGUN".
As a veteran of over 375 combat missions in Southeast Asia, RADM Pettigrew has been awarded the Silver Star, the Joint Superior Service Medal the Legion of Merit with Gold Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service' Medals, 30 Air Medals, and two Navy Commendation Medals. His over 3,400 hours in fighter aircraft include over 3,000 in the F-4 "Phantom." RADM Pettigrew is an avid triathlete and a master swimmer. He resides in La Jolla, California with his wife, the former Susan Schroeder of Wilmette, Illinois. They have four grown children, Jennifer, Katy Shobe, Roger and Craig.