In Memory of
First Lieutenant, 411 AAF, AW-SV-SQ
Howard Theodore Coe
Rapid City, South Dakota
Pennington County
September 21, 1915 – October 19, 1945
Died of injuries from Airplane Crash in Kulibihi Bazaar Forest, India

Howard Theodore Coe  Howard Theodore Coe, headstone

Howard T. Coe was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, on September 21, 1915. His parents were Vance and La Vange Coe (Michael). He had a half brother, Leland Michael and a sister, Rita. Howard attended local schools and graduated from Rapid City High School in 1934. He then worked in Sturgis for several months as a government mechanic. Before he entered the service, Howard was a motorcycle policeman in Rapid City.  He was married to Wanda Gayle Cummins on August 26, 1941, in Reno, Nevada. Howard was also a pioneer of the Sturgis Rally, a member of “RPM Gang.”

Howard Coe entered the active service at Fort Meade, South Dakota, on April 15, 1942. He was commissioned at Luke Field in Phoenix, Arizona, and then served as a test pilot. Coe was sent overseas on May 26, 1944. He was sent to India. The ranks Coe held were Aviation Cadet, 2nd  Lieutenant, and 1st Lieutenant. He served as a pilot in the AAF for five months from one location in India and then was transferred to Pantagar, India.

Howard Coe died on October 19, 1945, in India, from injuries incurred in an airplane crash while serving with the 411th Air Service Squadron.  His remains were returned to the United States after the war and reburied with military honors at Mountain View Cemetery in Rapid City.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Tyler Dobbs, 8th grade, Saint Elizabeth Seton School, Rapid City, South Dakota, March 25, 2002. An application for a SD veteran’s bonus payment provided the information as did the Rapid City Journal and Ron Asheim, Rapid City, nephew of Howard Coe.