COKER, PERCY BURKE, Captain, # 0-663858, USAAF

 

Percy B. Coker was born on 14 October 1918 near Roane, Navarro Co., Texas, to Willis “Willie” Doyle Coker (1885-1952) and Jimmie Belle (Hughes) Coker (1889-1982). Siblings included Beuford Merle Coker (1908-1975), Jarrell Elliott Coker (1911-1944), Pauline Coker (1913-1996), and half-siblings, Lillian May Jones (1907-    ). He graduated from Sunset High School, Dallas, Texas, in 1933. His father was an oil lease broker in 1930. He was married to Patricia (Smythe) Coker (1922-2009) on 6 October 1944 in Rockwall, Texas.

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 24 October 1940, employed by Educators Mutual Life Insurance Co., resided at 2513 Wabash, Fort Worth, Tarrant Co., TX, and described himself as 6’1”, 175 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Dallas, Texas, on 18 January 1942. He completed flight instruction through advanced school. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 1 December 1944 a C-87, # 44-31243, assigned to 10th Air Force, India-China Wing, 1327th AAF Base Unit, Tespur, India, departed the airfield on a cargo mission to Chengtu, Chia, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). It was last seen on take-off. A search party on 6 February 1945 reported 2 bodies found, one identified as Mac (NMI) Streicker. A search party from Jorhat, India, led by Lt. Waldron reported 15 January 1945 that the wreckage was located at 26° 34’ North & 93° 26’ East, in Assam Pradesh, India, was searched and that two crewmen were killed in the crash and were lost in the fire. They possessed copies of crew fingerprints which were sent to Quartermaster, Graves Registration, by the 329th Service Group, Jorhat, India. After recovery of indistinguishable remains from the American military cemetery at the airfield at Kalaikunda, India, 1stLt Playford, TSgt Curley, and Captain Coker, were buried in a group ceremony in the Fort Scott National Cemetery, Fort Scott, Bourbon Co., Kansas (Sec. 2, Grave 1826).

 

His brother, Beuford M. Coker, born 11 April 1908, served during WWII. He died 1 December 1975 and is buried in the Restland Memorial Park, Dallas, Dallas Co., Texas.

 

His brother, Jarrell E. Coker, born 5 December 1911, served in the U.S. Army, Master Sergeant, Quartermaster Corps, Engineer Supply, 756th Engineer Parts Supply Co., during WWII from 11 April 1943. He died 24 December 1944 in France. He is buried in the Grove Hill Memorial Park, Dallas, Dallas Co., Texas. He was awarded the Purple Heart.