In Memory of
Roger F. Coffin
Mobridge, South Dakota
October 25, 1922 -- September 20, 1944
Killed in Action at Plasmolen, Holland
Roger F. Coffin was born in Herreid,
South Dakota on October 25, 1922. Roger was the third of 12 children born to
Harry and Marie (Prenevost) Coffin. He attended Red Top Grade School and then
Trail City High School. Roger was interested in such things as athletics,
fishing, hunting, and mechanics. He graduated from high school in 1940 and went
to Bremerton, Washington, to work for Kuckenbury Construction Company at the
Kitsap Company Airport.
Because she was only three years old,
his sister Maryís only memory of Roger is of a soldier standing in the doorway
of their home. He was also remembered being home and showing his paratrooper
jumping skills to his siblings by jumping off the house.
Roger entered into active service
February 3, 1943, at Fort Lewis, Washington. He took his training at Fort
Benning, Georgia. He was sent overseas to England and from there was flown to
Holland where he parachuted in on September 17, 1944. Roger was given the rank
of an Army Corporal and fought with the C Company, 505 Parachute Infantry
Regiment, 82nd U.S. AB Division.
Roger sent one letter home telling his
parents not to worry about him. But Roger was killed in Plasmolen, Holland, on
September 20, 1944, by a mortar barrage along with another soldier named J.D.
Shelton. Rogerís family was notified of his death by telegram. His brother,
John, who was home on leave from the Army, hitchhiked out to the ranch to
deliver the telegram to his parents.
Roger Frank Coffin is buried in Plot F,
Row 2, Grave 10 at Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands. On
the outside of St. Anthonyís Church, a memorial plate lists the names of Roger
F. Coffin and five others who were killed defending Plasmolen, Holland. Roger
was awarded the Purple Heart.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Kyle Kaiser, Brandon
Wutzke, and Jacob Baumeister of the Junior class of McLaughlin High School,
McLaughlin, South Dakota, January 16, 2002. Information was provided by Mary
Giddings, Ft. Pierre, South Dakota, sister of Roger Coffin.