He was born on July 3, 1920 in Poteau, Oklahoma. Just a few years later, in his early twenties, Clarence left the free shores of America to defend his country from the terror of Nazism. And he did so with honor & distinction.
As a prisoner of war, Clarence convinced 942 German soldiers & 17 German officers to surrender in Grebole, France on August 25, 1944. He was immediately promoted to the rank of Captain.
Clarence was later recaptured and 0n January 7, 1945, he was killed by friendly fire as his captors through him out of a church door.
Coggins received 2 Silver Stars, 1 Bronze Star, 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, 2 Purple Hearts & the Gold Star.
Clarence was the first cousin of my grandfather, James Nick Horton of Murray, Kentucky, and was named after Nick’s father, Clarence Horton.
Today, on this Veteran’s Day, I am proud to remember one of my heroes. America is forever indebted to his courage, honor, & sacrifice.
So to Clarence & all of the other brave patriots around the world, thank you.