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Coen Oscar Hoffman

Oscar Hoffman Coen
Flight Lieutenant
Serial Number:
334th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group
Date of Death:
North Dakota
Mount Hope Cemetery, Baker City, Oregon

Oscar Coen was born at Hannaford, N.D., on May 11, 1917, to Archie and Mary Coen. He grew up in Pound, Wis., and received his bachelor of science degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1940, he crossed into Canada and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force where he had basic training in flying aircraft. He transferred to the RAF in 1941, joining 71 Squadron RAF. It was a short time before he found himself in England, flying with the British 71st all American Eagle Squadron, where World War II was in pursuit of victory for the allies. In a daring raid over France he destroyed a complete ammunition train with a pass so low that exploding debris hit his Spitfire. Managing to bail out safely he was smuggled to Spain by the French Resistance, and eventually back to England. Two months later he was back in England, where he proceeded to fly again with the 71st Eagle Squadron. With several victories and a DFC to his credit he transferred to the USAAF in 1942 as a Squadron Commander, completing the war as an Ace with 5 victories and flying over 250 combat missions. Col. Coen returned to the United States after the war, and flew with the U.S. Air Force until he and his wife, Virginia, retired in 1962 and came to live in Baker City.