My curiosity and interest in Peter was stoked by my father. As a child, he had endless stories about his father Joe Gayford, Warren Peterson, and Peter Provenzano—three barnstorming buddies. All three of which had a different and unique role in the air war of WWII.
In 1993, I sent away for Peter's military records. Since then I have been collecting material, performing research, and attempting to make it all relevant.
In the early 1990's, while the World Wide Web was still nascent and known to few, I began researching and collecting material on Peter Provenzano-his flight career and life. A decade later, the world has undergone a technological revolution in personal computing and "interneting." Thanks to that revolution, I am able to intimately share my research, findings—and most important—Peter's story with the family and wider world.
In 2004, Zack Webb and I teamed up to create peterprovenzano.com. We have been able to digitize many of Peter's primary documents, but have much left to do. Digitizing is only the beginning; the documents must now be edited, researched, and made available. This is an ongoing project that will encompass many years before all of the material is finally made available online.
Almost all of the primary documents that will initially be placed on this website come directly from Peter Provenzano. With a keen understanding of history and his legacy, Peter chronicled his war service with great detail. After his death in 1943, all of his personal affects, from the war, resided in his parents' (Santina and Vincent Provenzano) basement. In the late 1950's, Peter's material was given to his son Jim White. In 2001, Jim made available the material for research and digitization.
There is a great deal of primary documentation that is directly linked to Peter, but there is also a great deal of additional material out there. During an internship, in 2001, at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), I was able to locate and view records and newsreels from the war that would be of great value in telling Peter's story. From The National Archives at College Park, Maryland (Archives II) to NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in Saint Louis, to U.S. Air Force archives, there are many additional documents yet to be uncovered.
This resource is organized chronologically and topically, via the horizontal navigation bar across the top of each webpage. Beginning with the initial navigation button on the left, the first section starts in the 1930's with Peter's barnstorming days, followed by Peter's Royal Air Force (RAF) service in the United Kingdom and Canada from 1940-1942, and ending with his service in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1942 to 1943.
While the information has been laid out in an easy to follow chronological and topical schema, the first section to be filled in is/will be Peter's service in the RAF. There are several reasons for this. First, there is a plethora is readily available visual documentation (photos) that work nicely with the medium of the Internet. Second, his service as a United States citizen in the RAF is arguably the most interesting part of his legacy with the widest appeal. Once this section has been completed, work will begin on the other parts of his story.
All content from Peter Provenzano that is included in this website is the sole property of its owners and protected by United States and international copyright laws. This site or any portion of this site may not be reproduced, duplicated, sold, or otherwise exploited for any commercial purpose without the express written consent of its owners. This website was copyrighted in 2005.
This website and its contents are an ongoing project. An extensive amount of time and research has gone into enhancing the documents you will find here. Unfortunately, I miss things, make mistakes, and am not always aware of the information that is out there.
That is why input from everyone is important. If you can help identify a person, a location, a date, or provide relevant documents, please pass that information on to me. Every piece of information is vital. For the obvious will not be obvious to our scions. Please contact me with any information you may have