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Archive Report: US Forces
1941 - 1945

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via Helpdesk
16.04.1945 343rd Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group P51D Mustang 44-15608 Cpt. Coggeshall

Operation: Escort and strafing airfield west of Salzburg (Austria)

Date: 16th April 1945 (Monday)

Unit: No. 343rd Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group

Type: P51D Mustang

Serial: 44-15608 (“Cape Cod Express”)

Code: CY-T

Base: Wormingford

Location: near the Airfield west of Salzburg

Pilot: Cpt. Chester E Coggeshall Jr. 0-754471 USAAF Age 24. Murdered


"Coggy was killed on the last scheduled mission of his second tour. He was leading Red Flight strafing an airfield near Salzburg and destroyed the 190 above. He was hit by flak and bellied in crashing through a building and the airplane was demolished. It was reported that he survived the crash, but was hung by civilians who were in turn hung during the Nurnberg Trials. Amazing that he had flown two tours and had not seen an enemy plane in the air.

A good high school quarterback and a good pilot. He was highly thought of by all. A postwar inquiry found that Capt. Coggeshall had been executed by the mayor of the town of Freilassing, Germany. After being denied medical care, he was taken to a wooded area outside of the town and shot twice in the head by Burgermeister August Kobus.

This was done by the civilian authorities of the town over objections of German Army medical personnel. The two Nazi party officials responsible were tried and sentenced to death by a US Military Court. Kobus was executed by hanging on a gallows erected in the prison yard of Bruchsal Prison by United States Military authorities on 15 March 1946.

Burial details:

Cpt. Chester E Coggeshall Jr. Long Island National Cemetery, New York. Grave: J.15558. Next of kin details not available are you able to assist?

Researcher Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - September 2016. With thanks to Brennan Gauthier, Russ Abbey and Steven Barlo for photographs. Others Michel Beckers collection. Thanks also to Traugott Vitz for name correction and place of execution of Kobus.

RS 10.07.2018

Acknowledgments: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 23 April 2021, 12:37

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