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WW II soldier killed in Okinawa honored at Bong Heritage Center

A welder who died serving his country in Okinawa will be honored with a flag-raising at 9 a.m. Friday at the Richard I. Bong World War II Heritage Center.

A welder who died serving his country in Okinawa will be honored with a flag-raising at 9 a.m. Friday at the Richard I. Bong World War II Heritage Center.

Sgt. Lloyd H. Coos was born Oct. 3, 1913, in Freya, Wis. He spent most of his life in Freya. Coos was working as a welder at the Superior ship yards when he joined the Armed Forces in October 1942. He was serving with the 7th Infantry Division at the time of his death on April 24, 1945, on Okinawa.

Coos received his basic training at Camp White, Oregon and volunteered for foreign services in May 1943. He received training in the amphibious corps at Fort Ord, Calif. until August 1943. He was sent to the Aleutian Islands where he participated in the invasion of Kiska.

He was then stationed in the Hawaiian Islands and saw combat service at Kwajelin in the Marshall Islands, at Leyete in the Philippines and at Okinawa.

He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement for military operations on April 13, 1945. A party of about 50 enemy soldiers were making their way to the base of the hill Coos' company occupied under cover of darkness. Coos and another soldier moved from their foxhole and took an exposed position to fire at the soldiers. His actions forced the enemy to retreat.

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Coos was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart award for sacrificing his life in the defense of his country. He died while advancing toward a hill in Okinawa with his squad. He was squad leader at the time. Coos' heroic action kept with the highest tradition of the military service.

Coos was buried in the 7th Infantry Division Cemetery on Okinawa Shima overlooking the China Sea.

Every Friday, a deceased veteran is honored at the center. A flag in the veteran's memory is raised by members of the Richard I. Bong American Legion Post 435 and members of the Thomas F. Stein VFW Post 1091. It is lowered the following Friday. This Flags of Honor ceremony takes place in front of the heritage center and is open to the public.

There is no cost for the program. A biography and picture of the veteran to be honored are required, but there are flags available at the center that can be flown for a veteran if the family is unable to send one.

For more information on the Flags of Honor program or to set up a time for your loved one's flag to fly, call Daniel Knight, post adjutant of American Legion Post at (715) 392-4558 or the Richard I. Bong World War II Heritage Center at (715) 392-7151.

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