2002.337.877 1.590x590.marked

CAPT Clarence E. Coggins

  • Branch: Army
  • Hometown/City: OK
  • Date of Birth:
  • Date of Death:
  • Conflict: WWII
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  • Clarence Coggins was 1st Lt, Company CO of Co A, 3rd Bn, 179th RCT, 45th Infantry Division. My father in law, H Douglas Johnson, was CO of Co I. Coggins' company was reconnoitering east of Grenoble FR on August 23, 1943. They had the German 157th Infantry Rgt on the run and were trying to find them. Cpt Johnson was sent out to relieve Coggins and as they made their way along a road, they walked directly into the German unit and were captured and loaded into the back of a personnel carrier. Cpt Johnson jumped out and ran, but was shot down. Although the Germans searched for him briefly, they didn't find him. Severely wounded, Cpt Johnson was rescued by French farmers the next day. Coggins did not escape, but the Germsns knew they were going to be captured eventually and did not want to fall into hands of the French who would kill them wholesale, so they surrendered, all 946 of them, to Coggins. He was awarded a Silver Star and was promoted to Captain, but was killed later when he stepped on a land mine. I have copious information on this for anyone interested. William Wilson (508) 875-4478 or wwilson17@gis.net. May 18, 2013

    WILLIAM WILSON ,