PETERSEN, William Charles

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Cessna N733VW crashed January 18, 1984
East End, Santa Cruz Island

PETERSEN, William Charles “Pete” (1923-2006) [SS#561-22-6158], native of Nebraska who spent many years on the east end of Santa Cruz Island. In the 1960s, he had worked as a general partner in an oil wildcat drilling operation, Santa Cruz Exploration (SCE). Water rather than oil was struck. In 1977 Petersen returned to the east end of the island to live and work for the Gherini family, owners of the east end. For five years he ran a marginally successful sheep operation.

In February, 1984, Peterson, also a pilot, along with another passenger survived a plane crash on Santa Cruz Island’s Campo Grande airstrip. Peterson suffered from severe internal injuries, and the crash ended his employment on Santa Cruz Island.


During Petersen's five-year stay at Scorpion Ranch, three decommissioned minesweepers ended up off the east end of the island:

“Pete” Petersen = Edna (1925-1991) (first wife)

  • David Norman Petersen (b. 1950)
  • Susan Elaine Petersen (b. 1951)
  • Daniel Ray Petersen (b. 1955)
  • Sherri Lyn Petersen (b. 1957)

They were divorced in 1981.

“Pete” Petersen = [1983] Michel Ravenscroft (second wife)


“Pete” Petersen died on January 6, 2006. He was 82 years old.