About Roger Frank Coffin
Roger F. Coffin Corporal, U.S. Army Service # 39199530 505th Parachute Infantry Regt, 82nd Airborne Division Entered the Service from: Washington Died: 23-Sep-44 Buried at: Plot F Row 2 Grave 10 Netherlands American Cemetery Margraten, Netherlands Awards: Purple Heart
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 Mary’s 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. Roger’s 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. Anthony’s 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.