Captain David Arthur Peters was born in Santa Monica, California, on 12 September 1943, and moved to Oklahoma. A 1961 graduate of Lawton High School, Peters began ROTC at Cameron College and was a 1965 Oklahoma State University ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate with a degree in Psychology.
Peters was commissioned in 1965 as a Field Artillery Second Lieutenant. After the Field Artillery Basic Course and Airborne training, he became a platoon leader and Tactical Officer in the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill.
In May 1967, Peters deployed to Vietnam and was assigned to Battery C, 1st Battalion, 77th Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division and served initially as a Forward Observer and then Executive Officer. On 3 January 1968, Peters became the artillery liaison officer to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry. During the period 3 January to 4 April 1968, he distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions. As the Tet Offensive ended on 28 March 1968, the 1st Cavalry Division was tasked with breaking the encirclement of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. Early on 4 April, the Command helicopter, leaving LZ Stud for LZ Wharton, carrying the 1st/5th Commander, Peters and five others were hit by ground fire from an NVA battalion force, concealed near the Old French Fort, and crashed 200 yards from friendly forces. All but one died in the crash and the others were dead or executed by the NVA.
Peters was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. The citation reads in part: “…On numerous occasions, Captain Peters exposed himself to enemy fire as he called in and coordinated effective artillery, Naval gunfire, and airstrikes on the enemy positions…he repeatedly volunteered to assist in the medical evacuations of wounded when weather conditions and hostile fire prevented others from completing the mission.”
Peters’ other awards include: the Bronze Star, Air Medal, and the Purple Heart. Captain Peters is buried at the Fort Sill Post Cemetery.