New Member Inducted to NASK Hall of Heroes
NAS KINGSVILLE – Lt. Cmdr. Peter Lunaas is the newest member of the air station’s Hall of Heroes. He was inducted in a brief ceremony conducted by air station Commanding Officer Capt. Thomas Korsmo, Sept. 30.
Lunaas earned his coveted “Wings of Gold” in Dec. 1943 and trained with the Hellcat Squadron in Great Lakes, Illinois before joining Admiral Marc Mitscher’s Task Force 58 aboard USS Ranger in the Pacific Theater. He saw action at Truk and the Mariana Islands chain and is credited with having shot down three enemy aircraft.
After the war, Lunaas graduated from Test Pilot School as NAS Patuxent, Maryland where he worked alongside test pilot John Glenn, before being assigned to Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Kingsville with ATU 222.
During the Korean Conflict, Lunaas served aboard the USS Leyte Gulf and USS Boxer before returning to NAAS Kingsville in November 1958.
In 1962, Lunaas was assigned to the U.S. Military Technical Advisory Group as party of a 14-month tour of duty in Indonesia.
He returned to NAAS Kingsville in January 1964 and retired from the Navy on July 1, 1965. He joined the Naval Aviation Ground Training School at NAS Kingsville as an instructor teaching students aerodynamics and aerial navigation until January 1987. He died less than a year later on Nov. 20, 1987.
Lt. Cmdr. Lunaas was nominated for inclusion into the Hall of Heroes by his son, Mark, who attended the ceremony with his wife, Connie, and his son, Marshall.
NAS Kingsville is one of two naval air stations designated for undergraduate Jet/Strike pilot training. The air station consists of more than 4,000 acres of land, including four 8,000 foot runaways, and encompasses more than 36,000 cubic miles of airspace, including five Military Operating Areas (MOAs) and one Warning Area. Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nas.kingsville.9/.