SOLDIER’S PROFILE

Cooper,
George L

February 5, 1920 —

Branch of Service: Army

Unit: 345th Bomb Group

Theater of Operation: Pacific

Birthplace: Manila, P.I.

Killed in Action: Select One

Prisoner of War: Select One

Gender: Male

SERVICE YEARS: Unknown

George served as a pilot who flew 75 missions over two tours during WWII. His most significant battle was the Battle of Rabaul, New Britain on Nov 2, 1943. He began flying B25s in New Britain, and later trained pilots in South Carolina, Florida and Michigan from March 1944 until October 1944 when he returned to flying A25s and A26s after his request to Gen. Crabbe was granted to fly in support of Gen. MacArthur's liberation of the Philippines. George's father, Lawrence Cooper, a civilian (originally from Peabody, KS), had spent three years held by the Japanese in Santo Thomas prison camp and George wanted to be part of the effort that would free his father. He was reunited briefly with his father and mother after Gen MacArthur succeeded in driving the Japanese out of Manila. After the war, he continued to serve for nearly 30 years and rose to the rank of Colonel in the Air Force Reserves. He retired as Vice Commander of the 442nd at Richards Gebaur AFB. George currently resides in Tonganoxie, KS with Ruth, his wife of 72 years.

Submission Honored By: Laurie Putthoff