July 26, 2014

Martin Dewitt Coffey, Jr. (1920-1945)

Tech5 Martin D. Coffey
Photo by F. H. Terry
Martin, a son of the senior Martin and wife Mary Laconia Hamilton, was the next to last child of eight and the seventh of eight sons.  He was born on Feb. 22, 1920 in Lawrence Co., AL and was killed in Germany on Jul. 17, 1945.  He was buried at Courtland Cemetery in Courtland, Lawrence Co.

Like many descendants of John Coffey, eldest child of Edward and Ann Powell Coffey, Martin's ancestry began with the birth of his great-grandfather, Jesse S. Coffey in Wilkes Co., NC in the year 1799.  Jesse married Winifred Crumpton in that county in 1821 and eventually resettled in Pickens and Forsyth Co., GA.

The John Gordon Coffey Family
A son of Jesse and Winifred was John Gordon Coffey, born 1840 in Forsyth Co., died in Pickens in 1920.  He married Mary Monroe Pettitt in Pickens Co. in the year 1859.  Between 1860 and 1887, Mary Pettitt Coffey gave birth to 14 children; nine daughters and five sons.  Their 12th son was Martin Dewitt Coffey, Sr., born 1881 in Pickens Co., died in Courtland, Lawrence Co., AL in 1943.  Through Sr's marriage to Mary Laconia Hamilton, he became the father of Martin, Jr.

Tech 5 US Army WW2
10th Armored Division Patch
Also known as the Tiger Division
Martin enlisted in the US Army at Fort McClellan, AL on July 12, 1941 and earned TEC5 stripes with the 55th Armored Engineer Battalion.  This battalion was part of the 10th Armored Division which blasted its way across Europe under the command of Gen. George A. Patton and the 3d Army in WW2.  The Division was later attached to the 7th Army.

He is not known to have married.

WWII in Europe was over at the time of his death making it unlikely it was combat related.  However, there were Nazi guerrilla cells that operated for a short time after the war and were responsible for a number of post war American deaths.

The Potsdam Conference, attended by Stalin, Truman and Churchill, also began on July 17th. Violence related to that by NAZI sympathizers could have sparked some unrest, resulting in the non-combat deaths of American soldiers.

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