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2nd Lt. Gerald D. Coleman—Pilot
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2nd Lt. Gerald D. Coleman—Pilot

2nd Lt. Gerald D. Coleman was the pilot on my uncles plane when it was shoot down on 25 June 1944. Lt. Coleman was married to Katherine Bayless and the father of an 18 month old daughter, Gerry Coleman at the time of the crash. Lt. Coleman worked for the soil conservation service at Ft. Worth, Texas prior to being called into the service by the national guard as a sergeant. A researcher with the McCurtain Co. Genealogy Society talked to a friend who went to school with Lt. Coleman and he said Gerald was a very smart person.

Name Position Rank Serial Number Last Known Address Contact Listed
Gerald D. Coleman Pilot 2nd Lt 0-806220 Mrs. Kathrine B. Coleman
Box 654
Idabel, Oklahoma
Wife
Select One:
Coleman Family Pictures, Letters and Documents
Gerald D. Coleman Picture's
McCurtain Co. Genealogical Society Information about Gerald D. Coleman
Information from Ancestry.com
A letter from the brother of Lt. Gerald Coleman dated February 28, 1997 was located
Information Listed on NARA
McCurtain Gazette (Idabel, OK) Article—Marriage of Gerald Coleman & Katherine Bayless. Wednesday, 19 March 1941
McCurtain Gazette (Idabel, OK) Article—Writeup about Gerald Coleman being killed. Saturday, 08 July 1944
McCurtain Gazette (Idabel, OK) Article—Obituary on Gerry Coleman (Gerald Coleman daughter) Wednesday, 04 September 1968
McCurtain Gazette (Idabel, OK) Article—Writeup about the death of Katherine Bayless Coleman Sawyer (Gerald Coleman wife) Monday, 02 October 1978
McCurtain Gazette (Idabel, OK) Article—Katherine Bayless Coleman Sawyer Death is Ruled Natural (Gerald Coleman wife) Tuesday, 03 October 1978
McCurtain Gazette (Idabel, OK) Article—Obituary on Katherine Bayless Coleman Sawyer Death is Ruled Natural (Gerald Coleman wife) Tuesday, 03 October 1978
Please submit information about 2nd Lt. Gerald D. Coleman.

 

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Coleman Family Pictures, Letters and Documents:

The following letters, pictures and documents were shared by the family of 2nd Lt. Gerald D. Coleman in March 2007. The letters and other information provide us with insight into Gerald the man and not just the name listed on old Missing Air Crew Reports and other files. Throughout my research and search trips I have often wondered if I would ever locate information to help me understand more about Gerald. The letters and information below have been invaluable to help me get a first hand impression about the life of Gerald and his loss. Gerald's brother Jack Coleman was PFC in the USMC at the time Gerald was shot down. Jack fought in many of the Pacific island battles including Guadalcanal and Peleliu from 1942 to 1944. Jack was "stunned" by the loss of his brother since he fought in battles with "terrible casualties" and "never got a scratch". Ironically, Jack fought in the battle of Peleliu in the fall of 1944 only a few hundred miles away from the location of his brother's crash site. Had Yap Island not been by-passed for invasion, Jack might have been part of the invasion force of Yap. I missed communicating with Jack back in the 1990's when he was seeking information about the loss of Gerald. By the time I made contact with the Coleman family Jack was ill and unable to communicate.

I'm very grateful that the Coleman family was able to locate and share the pictures, letters and documents below.

Gerald Dwight Coleman Documents:

26 May 1944 Letter from Lt. Gerald Dwight Coleman to his brother Marine PFC, Jack Lynn Coleman
(pdf file 699 KB)

17 June 1944 Letter from PFC Jack Lynn Coleman to his brother Lt. Gerald Dwight Coleman. This letter was returned to sender after the Coleman crew was lost
(pdf file 845 KB)

28 February 1997 letter from Jack Coleman to Dave Owen seeking information about his brothers loss.
(pdf file 231 KB)

10 March 1997 letter from 307th BG Historian, James Kendall, to Jack Coleman regarding the loss of the Coleman crew
(pdf file 352 KB)

Click on a thumbnail image below to view the full sized image.


18 July 1944 American Red Cross Message to Jack Coleman regarding the loss of his brother on 25 June 1944

24 July 1944 First Marine Division message to Jack Coleman reagrding the loss of this brother on 25 June 1944

Lt. Coleman's daughter, Gerry Lynn Coleman, and his car in the background. This picture was sent to Jack Coleman within one of his last letters.
 

2nd Lt. Gerald D. Coleman

2nd Lt. Gerald D. Coleman

2nd Lt. Gerald D. Coleman
 

The Coleman brothers (left to right): James H, Jr., Jack and Gerald

PFC Jack L. Coleman, USMC, May 1943

Jack Coleman 2007
 

"Death Takes Flier" newspaper article about Lt. Coleman

"Gerlard Coleman is Killed Over Yap Island" newspaper article about Lt. Coleman

"Liet. Coleman, Sgt. Dingler Are Awarded Posthumous Honors" newspaper article about Lt. Coleman

"Graduates Today" newspaper article about Lt. Coleman

Coleman crew picture supplied by the family

Coleman crew picture supplied by the family with names
   

The following postcard was shared by Bill Coleman in 2014:

Gerald-March-2-1943-Postcard



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Information from Ancestry.com:

Gerald Dwight Coleman Information:

  • Gerald Dwight Coleman
  • Born: 1917, Wichita Falls, Wichita, TX, USA
  • Died: 24 Jun 1944
  • Spouse: Katherine Unknown
  • Children: Gerry Lynn Coleman, Female, born 1942, died 1968

Parents:

  • James H. Coleman Sr. (Gerald's Father) born at Coleman Hill, Texas July 18, 1887. Yes he was an automobile salesman until the depression hit. Then he worked odd jobs until he bought and ran a store in Hugo, OK. He was working there when WWII was waged. Died 29 March 1966
  • Rose May Dwight ((erald's Mother) was born August 8, 1888 in Grapevine, Texas. She died on February 12, 1930 in Wichita Falls - the day before Jack Coleman's 9th birthday. Gerald would have only been 14 when she died.
  • Married 10 May 1912 in Gertrude, [county], TX, USA

Click to Enlarge1930 US Census from Wichita Falls, TX

March 2008 Update: Charlotte Babcock provided updated to the geneology information below that was incorrect.

  • Father, James H Coleman-Automobile Salesman
  • James H. Coleman Jr. born November 21, 1914
  • Gerald Dwight Coleman born March 24, 1916 (He was born with a broken left arm. He weighed nearly 12 lbs.)
  • Lucille Coleman born in Wichita Falls, TX November 2, 1917
  • Jack Coleman born in Wichita Falls, TX February 13, 1921
  • Walter Parks Coleman-Son, Born 23 December 1925, in Breckenridge, [county], TX,
  • Lewis William Coleman born in Wichita Falls, TX August 22, 1929
Download 1930 US Census Information about the Coleman Family
(pdf file 772 KB)


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Gerald D. Coleman Picture's:
Gerald D. Coleman
2nd Lt Gerald D. Coleman
Gerald D. Coleman
2nd Lt Gerald D. Coleman
Gerald D. Coleman
2nd Lt Gerald D. Coleman
Gerald D. Coleman
2nd Lt Gerald D. Coleman

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A letter from the brother of Lt. Gerald Coleman dated February 28, 1997 was located:

A letter from the brother of Lt. Gerald Coleman dated February 28, 1997 was located

Jack L. Coleman sent a letter to the 307th BG seeking information about his older brother who he knew was lost of Yap Island on June 25, 1944. Jack was with the 1st Marine Division and was getting ready to make an assault on the Island of Peleliu in the Palau Islands when Gerald was lost.

Jack stated that the last letter he received from Gerald stated that he had just got a new airplane for him and his crew, a new B-24 without any paint on it, and that he could get 8 to 10 knots more speed out of it.

Jack had just gotten to Guadalcanal to visit Gerald and found that he had left some days earlier for the Admiralty Islands. Jack did not have time to go to the Admiralty Islands to visit Gerald.

Gerald was five years older than Jack. Jack was 76 when he sent the letter and was seeking to correspond with anyone who knew his brother.

I understand the Jack is still alive but is not able to communicate well. I wish I could have found Jacks letter years ago.

-Pat

Here are copies of Jack's letters:

Jack Coleman Letter about Gerald D. Coleman

Jack Coleman Letter about Gerald D. Coleman

Jack Coleman Letter about Gerald D. Coleman

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McCurtain Co. Genealogical Society Information:

Surviving Family Listed in the McCurtain Gazette Saturday Newspaper, 08 July 1944:

  • Father: J.H. Coleman of Hugo, OK
  • Wife: Katherine Bayless Coleman of Idabel, OK
  • Daughter: Gerry Lynn Coleman of Idabel,OK
  • Brothers: James & Lewis Coleman of Hugo, OK
    • Pvt. Jack Coleman with the Marines in the south Pacific
    • Pvt. Walter Coleman of Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Sister: Mrs. Doyle Lawson of Hugo, OK

Gerald Coleman's daughter, Gerry Lynn Coleman, died on 02 September 1968 and is buried in the Denison Cemetery in Idabel, OK. She was born 10 January 1943 in Idabel, McCurtain Co.,OK

Gerald's wife remarried a man by the name of Samuel Sawyer, Jr. and had one child a son, Johnny Sawyer.

Source: Wanda from the McCurtain Co. Genealogical Society.

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Gerald D. Coleman:—NARA Information:
Information Listed on NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) http://www.archives.gov/aad/):
  • Texas
  • Born 1916
  • Enlisted 10 May 1942 in Dallas, Texas

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McCurtain Gazette (Idabel, OK) Marriage Article:

McCurtain Gazette
Marriage of Gerald Coleman & Katherine Bayless.
Wednesday, 19 March 1941

Source: Articles were located by Wanda with the McCurtain Co. Genealogical Society. The articles are from the McCurtain Gazette in Idabel, OK.

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McCurtain Gazette (Idabel, OK) Shoot Down Article:

McCurtain Gazette
Writeup about Gerald Coleman being killed.
Saturday, 08 July 1944

Source: Articles were located by Wanda with the McCurtain Co. Genealogical Society. The articles are from the McCurtain Gazette in Idabel, OK.

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McCurtain Gazette (Idabel, OK) Daughter Article:

McCurtain Gazette
Obituary on Gerry Coleman (Gerald Coleman daughter)
Wednesday, 04 September 1968

Source: Articles were located by Wanda with the McCurtain Co. Genealogical Society. The articles are from the McCurtain Gazette in Idabel, OK.

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McCurtain Gazette (Idabel, OK) Wife Articles:

McCurtain Gazette
Writeup about the death of Katherine Bayless Coleman Sawyer (Gerald Coleman wife)
Monday, 02 October 1978

McCurtain Gazette
Katherine Bayless Coleman Sawyer Death is Ruled Natural (Gerald Coleman wife)
Tuesday, 03 October 1978

McCurtain Gazette
Obituary on Katherine Bayless Coleman Sawyer Death is Ruled Natural (Gerald Coleman wife)
Tuesday, 03 October 1978

Source: Articles were located by Wanda with the McCurtain Co. Genealogical Society. The articles are from the McCurtain Gazette in Idabel, OK.

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