PFC Peterson was a brand-new infantry soldier that was on his first operation with A Co., 1/327 Infatnry, 101st ABN Div, having just arrived in Vietnam one month earlier. He was the new company commander's RTO. He was killed by friendly fire, an artillery strike called in erroneously on their position by by inexperienced company commander after the lead elements of their unit were caught in a VC ambush during Operation MALHUER, in what became known as the "Battle of Mother's Day Hill". The second volley of six 105mm rounds screamed in like a runaway freight train and struck the nearby upper tree-line. Time-delay fused for the enemy emplacements, the projectiles ricocheted off the canopy tops resulting in a classic tree-burst effect. One cone of deadly shrapnel spray deflected downward, blasting directly into the company CP. Killed immediately were SGT. Jerry Norris, and both of the companys radiomen, CPL. Crawford Snow, a full-blooded Paiute Native-American Indian, and PFC. Michael Peterson. Others in the CP were wounded including the FO and the Captain himself. PFC Peterson had just recently had his 20th birthday.