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”)
Location: near the Airfield west of Salzburg
Pilot: Cpt. Chester E Coggeshall Jr. 0-754471 USAAF Age 24. Murdered
REASON FOR LOSS:
"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.
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.