Ray Peterson was born August 10th, 1912 in York, Nebraska. He took his first plane ride in 1928, and earned his pilot’s license in 1930. Arriving in Seward, Alaska in 1934 with little more than $300, he began his long career as a pilot within four days of arrival. He formed Bethel Airways in 1935, with the company going out of business after both of its aircraft crashed. He founded Ray Peterson’s Flying Service in 1937, merging with several other air carriers to form Northern Consolidated Airlines in 1947. NCA merges with Wien Alaska Airlines in 1968, and Ray Peterson become CEO of Wien in 1969.