On November 5, 2020, Captain Kenneth C. Petroske of Norfolk, Virginia took his final flight into the "Wild Blue Yonder". He was a highly decorated Naval officer and a great American Patriot. A native of Meriden, Ct., he was born in 1936 to Constantine and Mary Petroske.
He was a dedicated husband of 58 years to the former Sarah Jane Ward of North Haven CT. and a devoted father to Wm. Jason Petroske of San Diego, CA. He also leaves behind his sister, Barbara Jean Petroske of NYC; his daughter-in-law Bianca Petroske and granddaughters, Julianna and Alessandra Petroske of San Diego.
Captain Petroske graduated from Parks College of Aeronautical Engineering of St. Louis University. He was commissioned in 1958 and received his wings in 1960. Assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron TWELVE at NAS Quonset Pt., Rhode Island, he flew the E-1B Tracer deploying aboard the USS FORRESTAL, USS ESSEX, and USS CONSTELLATION to the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Caribbean. In 1964 CDR Petroske returned to the Training Command as a flight instructor at NAS Pensacola, Florida. Following this tour, he attended Carrier Air Traffic Control Center School in Glynco, Georgia and then reported to USS INDEPENDENCE as Assistant Air Operations Officer in 1967. CDR Petroske reported to RVAW-120 and then to VAW-124 where he was Maintenance and Operations Officer. He deployed to WESTPAC and the Mediterranean aboard the USS America. Upon detachment from VAW-124 he attended Aviation Safety School in Monterey, CA and in 1972 reported to the staff of Commander Airborne Early Warning Wing TWELVE as staff Safety Officer and the Operations/Training Readiness Officer. He next served as the Commanding Officer of VAW-122 deploying to WESTPAC and Vietnam, flying the E-2C Hawkeye.
Ken began his flying career at age 15 on a canvas covered Piper; and in 1978 he left flying for his final military tour as Captain of the NATO SACCLANT North Atlantic VAW Fleet until retirement in 1984. He loved the many challenges of his Navy career and flying. He had remarkable courage, energy, generosity, and kindness.
Captain Petroske's decorations include two strike/flight Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation Award, the Navy Expeditionary Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals, and a Citation for Extraordinary aeriel performance in Cuba.
In retirement, Ken, an avid sailor and member of the Broad Bay Sailing Association, raced his 36 ft. Sloop, Sans Souci, to many victories in the Chesapeake Bay and off-shore. He frequently crewed for boat Captain Jon Scott delivering sailboats. Together they sailed a 68 ft. Schooner from Portugal to Florida in an exciting and perilous adventure. Ken could often be found sitting on his front porch spinning yarns of his Military days and sailing.