Pete Wingrove was born on November 12, 1936, in Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on January 29, 1954, and then completed basic training and Advanced Individual Training at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, in August 1954. Sgt Wingrove next attended airborne school at Fort Benning, Georgia, from August to September 1954, followed by service with the 77th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from September 1954 to March 1955. His next assignment was as an infantryman with Company C, 508th Airborne Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, from March 1955 to August 1956, and then with Company D, 506th Airborne Infantry Combat Group at Fort Campbell from August 1956 to May 1957. Sgt Wingrove served with the U.S. Army Training Center at Fort Gordon, Georgia, from May 1957 until he left active duty on February 25, 1958, and then returned to active duty on June 17, 1959. He served with the U.S. Army Training Center at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, from June to August 1959, followed by service with Company D, 2nd Airborne Battle Group of the 501st Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg from September 1959 to September 1960. His next assignment was as an infantryman with Company B, 1st Airborne Battle Group of the 504th Infantry Regiment in West Germany from October 1960 to May 1962, and he then left active duty on June 4, 1962. Sgt Wingrove again returned to active duty on August 28, 1962, and served as a Squad Leader with Company D, 1st Brigade of the 13th Infantry Regiment at Fort Riley, Kansas, from August 1962 to November 1963. His next assignment was as a Fire Team Leader with Company B, 2nd Battalion of the 504th Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg from November 1963 to April 1964, followed by Ranger School at Fort Benning from April to July 1964. He served as a Squad Leader with Company B, 1st Battalion of the 504th Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg from July 1964 to December 1966, and during this time he participated in the Congo Crisis from August to September 1964 and the Occupation of the Dominican Republic from May 1965 to July 1966. SSG Wingrove attended Special Forces Operations and Intelligence Training with the Special Forces Training Group at Fort Bragg from December 1966 to May 1967, and then served as an Operations and Intelligence Training Sergeant with Company B, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from May to September 1967. His next assignment was as an Operations and Intelligence Sergeant and then as a Platoon Sergeant with Company A, 5th Special Forces Group in South Vietnam from September 1967 to October 1969, followed by service as an Operations and Intelligence Sergeant with Company C, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from October to November 1969. SFC Wingrove served as an Intelligence Sergeant with Company D, 6th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from November 1969 to March 1971, and during this time he served on Action Element 3 of the Blueboy Assault Group during the Son Tay Raid, a clandestine mission to rescue American Prisoners of War in North Vietnam on November 21, 1970. His next assignment was as an Intelligence Sergeant and then Operations Sergeant with Company D, 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg from March 1971 to April 1972, followed by service as an Operations Sergeant with U.S. Army Special Forces in Thailand from April 1972 to May 1974. 1SG Wingrove served as 1st Sergeant of Battery C, 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg from May 1974 to February 1976, and he then attended the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, from February to August 1976. His next assignment was as 1st Sergeant of Company C, 1st Battalion of the 75th Ranger Battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia, from August 1976 to January 1977, followed by service as 1st Sergeant of 2nd Battalion of the 19th Infantry Regiment at Fort Stewart from January 1977 to February 1978. SGM Wingrove served as Sergeant Major of the 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart from February to May 1978, and then as Senior Enlisted Advisor to the U.S. Army Recruiting office in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, from May 1978 to June 1980. CSM Wingrove's final assignment was as Command Sergeant Major of 2nd Battalion of the 28th Infantry Regiment in West Germany from July 1980 until his retirement from the Army on April 1, 1982. Pete Wingrove died on October 15, 2013.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
for gallantry in action on 21 November 1970 as a member of an all-volunteer joint U.S. Army and Air Force raiding force in the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed heliborne assault mission to rescue United States military personnel held as prisoners of war at Son Tay prison in North Vietnam. This valiant effort was motivated by deep compassion for his imprisoned fellow men-at-arms, and by a strong sense of military duty and national pride. After debarking from the assault helicopter inside the compound, Sergeant Wingrove moved to an exposed position in the center of the compound in order to place covering fire on the enemy soldiers located immediately outside the east gate area. He held this position, even though he was constantly faced with the danger of being struck by enemy automatic weapons fire from the east guard tower. His bravery in the face of this grave threat to his life was an inspiration to the other element members. Continuing his assigned mission with deliberation and thoroughness, he moved to assist in searching and clearing a large cell-block area. Sergeant Wingrove's conscious disregard for his personal safety, extraordinary heroism against an armed hostile force, and extreme devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself and the United States Army.