BEAUFORT, S.C. – The funeral for Maj. Gen Oscar Franklin Peatross will be held at 1 p.m. today at First Presbyterian Church, with burial in Beaufort National Cemetery.
Peatross, 77, died Wednesday [May 26, 1993] at Beaufort Naval Hospital. He was a former commanding general Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot and longtime Beaufort County resident.
He made his home in Frogmore, S.C., after retiring from the Marine Corps with more than 30 years of service in 1971. He commanded the Parris Island recruit center from 1968 until his retirement.
“He was a thoughtful, outstanding leader of men,” said Sherman Lucky, a Beaufort resident who served as a first sergeant in the Marine infantry battalion commanded by Peatross in Korea during the Korean War.
Lucky, who also served at two other duty stations with Peatross, including Parris Island, said he and other members of the Drill Instructors Association made Peatross an honorary member of the association.
Peatross was born in Raleigh, N.C., and was a member and ruling elder of First Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the Republican Party, Thursday Club and Board of Directors of the Museum at Parris Island.
Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1941, Peatross initially saw combat action in World War II with the Second Marine Raider Battalion and was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism in the Raid on Makin Island. He also participated in the campaigns for Guadalcanal and Bougainville.
He later took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima, for which he earned the Bronze Star with Combat “V.”
During the Korean War, he served as a battalion commander and assistant G-3 with the 1st Marine Division; he was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat “V.”
Peatross reported to Parris Island in 1956, serving as battalion commander, operations officer and executive officer of recruit training.
The general assumed command of the 7th Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in 1964. In 1965, he took this unit to Vietnam and he was the Landing Force Commander during “Operation Starlight” at Chu Lai.
He was promoted to brigadier general in November 1966, while serving with the G-3 Division, Headquarters Marine Corps.
The general received his second star in October 1968 and became commanding general of the Parris Island recruit center a month later.
Surviving are his wife, Marie S. Peatross of Frogmore, S.C.; two sons, R. F. Peatross of Shreveport, La., and John Peatross of Beaufort; two stepsons, Richard Payette of Seattle and W. Kemp Norman Jr. of Richmond, Va.; a stepdaughter, Judy Payette of Korea; three sisters, Martha Hall and Rachel Pattishall, both of Raleigh, and Sarah Medico of Sarasota, Fla.; five grandchildren; and and a great-grandchild.
Copeland Funeral Home.
Remembrance: Caroline Hospice of Beaufort, P.O. Box 1686, Beaufort, S.C. 29901 or American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 443, Beaufort, S.C. 29901.