Cerro Gordo County

Lt. James M. K. Pedersen



Local Youth Mingles With Britishers
From All Parts of World

Friendly relationship with Canadians, New Zealanders, Englishmen and other fellows from all over the British empire is one of the things of interest to Aircraftman James M. Pedersen, Mason City, who is now at No. 2 Manning Depot of the Royal Canadian air force, located at the city of Brandon, Manitoba, about 150 miles west of Winnipeg, the provincial capital. It occupied large buildings formerly used for exhibition purposes.

Manning Depot is the place where the new recruits complete their transition from civilian to service life. Young airmen from many different parts of the world come through the Manning depot where they learn about air force drill and discipline as well as some of the regulations that will govern their future conduct.

AC2 Pedersen is a son of Charles W. Pedersen of 412 Sixth street southwest, and was a former student at Mason City high school. He says he is greatly impressed with the carefully arranged program at the Manning depot which, besides the regular duty periods, provides ample opportunity for organized games and other recreational activities. The people of Brandon help to organize dances and other entertainment, and also arrange meetings between former United States people now living in Canada so they can entertain airmen from the U. S.

Young Pedersen is now awaiting posting to one of the big schools where he will commence an intensive course of instruction leading to actual flying practice.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Wednesday, November 26, 1941, Page 7


Mason Cityan Is Returning to Canada for More Instruction

James Pedersen, who is with the RCAF, is visiting at his home in Mason City while on leave but is due to return to Brandon, Manitoba, Wednesday.

The son of Charles Pedersen, 412 Sixth street southwest, Pedersen has been training with the Royal Canadian Air Force for four months. He expects to be assigned soon to the ITC to receive his ground instruction.

While receiving preliminary training, Pedersen has met youths from all over the world, including those from New Zealand, Australia, Greece, all sections of the British isles and the United States.

Pedersen is a graduate of Mason City high School. He was employed by the Mason City Bottling company before enlisting.  (Lock Photo)

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Monday, January 05, 1942, Page 8

Here In Mason City

Word of his appointment to the rank of pilot officer in the Royal Canadian air force has been received by James Pedersen, RCAF navigator, who is visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pedersen, 412 Sixth street southwest. He will report Oct. 24 to the overseas post at Halifax, Nova Scotia, for assignment to active duty. The rank of pilot officer corresponds to that of second lieutenant in the U. S. air forces.

Pedersen won his wings as a navigator in October.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Saturday, October 17, 1942, Page 16

Some Mason Cityans, anxious to get into action in the battle against the axis, did not wait for the United States declaration of war but joined Canadian forces last fall. Of these, some are in active duty now after completing intensive training in Canada.

Pilot Officer James M. Pedersen recently reported to Halifax, Nov Scotia, for assignment to overseas duty.  He won his wings as navigator in the RCAF early in October.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, October 30, 1942


Friends here have received word from Pilot Officer James M. K. Pedersen, attached to the RAF in the RCAF overseas, that he has fully recovered from the crash that put him in the hospital in Scarborough. Since that time, he writes he has been in all parts of Scotland, where they flew in all kinds of weather, and is now in England.

"I've really got a swell crew," he continues. "It is really a cosmopolitan group - American, Canadian, Scotch and French. We are just one big happy family who would go through anything for the other fellows."

He is the son of Charles Pedersen, 412 Sixth street southwest.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Wednesday, June 09, 1943, Page 16


Wire Follows Letter He Had Written
Telling of Transfer U. S. Forces

Word came Friday to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pedersen, 412 6th S. W., that their son, James M. K. Pedersen, had been missing in action since Nov. 17. The message signed by the adjutant general in Washington read:

"The secretary of war desires me to express his regret that your son, First Lt. James M. K. Pedersen, has been reported missing in action since Nov. 17 over Germany. If further details or other information are received you will be promptly notified."

The wire follows a letter his parents had just received telling of his transfer to the U. S. 8th army air force in England. At the time of his transfer Lieutenant Pedersen had completed 17 missions as a navigator over enemy-occupied Europe. He had joined the RCAF in October, 1942.

Mr. and Mrs. Pedersen have received a letter from their son's wing commander in the RAF, praising his services with them.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Saturday, November 27, 1943, Page 14


Had Been Missing a Year

Following Flight Over Germany

First Lt. James M. K. Pedersen, who has been listed as missing in action since going on a mission over Mannheim, Germany, more than a year ago, is now recorded by the war department as dead, according to a letter received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pedersen, 412 5th S. W.

Lt. Pedersen was still flying for the RAF at the time of his last missing, though he had been transferred to the 8th AAF a short time before. The reason for this was that he was with a special trained crew that they did not want to break up. He had first entered service with the RCAF in Oct. 1942.
"Full consideration has recently been given to all available information bearing on the absence of your son," the letter from the adjutant general stated, "including all records, reports and circumstances. These have been carefully reviewed and considered.

"In view of the fact that 12 months have now expired without the receipt of evidence to support a continued presumption of survival, the war department must terminate such absence by a presumptive finding of death. Accordingly, an official finding of death has been recorded.

"The finding does not establish an actual or probably date of death however, as required by law, it includes a presumptive date of death for the termination of pay and allowances, settlement of accounts and payment of death gratuities. In the case of your son this date has been set as Nov. 18, 1944, the day following the expiration of 12 months' absence.

"The record concerning your son shows that he was the navigator of a Lancaster aircraft which failed to return from a night bombing mission over Mannheim, Germany."

In one of the last letters received from Lt. Pedersen he had written that he had been awarded a Pathfinder badge. This is one of the highest honors one can get in the RAF, according to a clipping he had enclosed.

It is the badge of a "specialty selected corps. . . the highly skilled and veteran bomber crews who could locate targets, even under difficult conditions, and mark them for the stream of bombers which followed them into the target areas."

While serving with the RCAF Lt. Pedersen had been in a plane crash and had been hospitalized for some time in Scarborough, Scotland, but had fully recovered and was continuing with his missions.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Tuesday, December 05, 1944, Page 13  (photo included)