Cerro Gordo County

S/Sgt. Harold F. Cookman




Clear Lake Briefs

Walter and Harold Cookman, who have enlisted in the air corps and who were to leave Monday, will be at home a few days longer as the recruiting officer in Mason City had word to take no more men till further notice.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Tuesday, January 20, 1942, Page 5

Clear Lake Briefs

Harold Cookman arrived Saturday afternoon from Scott’s Field, Ill, to spend the weekend with his parents, Mrs. and Mrs. F. G. Cookman. His brother, Walter, is finishing at the school of Aeronautics, Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday. Harold has 10 days more at Scott’s Field.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Monday, July 06, 1942, Page 7

Clear Lake Briefs

Sgt. Harold Cookman, radio man in a bomber crew, has been transferred from Columbia, S. Car., to Walterboro, S. Car., for further training.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, September 25, 1942, Page 5

Clear Lake Briefs

Two Clear Lake residents met by chance in far-off Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana, the other day. They are: Pvt. Sid Levy, manager of the Lake theater, and Staff Sgt. Harold Cookman, who is a radio man and gunner in a bomber division of the air force.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Saturday, March 20, 1943, Page 14

Clear Lake Briefs

Sgt. Walter Cookman returned Thursday morning to Victoria, Texas, after spending two weeks with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Cookman. He is a mechanic in the air force there. Mr. and Mrs. Cookman have not yet received further word concerning their other son, St. Sgt. Harold F. Cookman, reported missing in action since March 31.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Thursday, April 29, 1943, Page 9

A Moment of Contemplation

“Memorial day is going to mean more to the people of Clear Lake this year than for a long time,” said E. W. Winnie as he views the Clear Lake honor roll board recently erected in City park. Mr. Winnie, himself the son of a Civil war veteran, has four sons in the service.

The honor roll board was made possible by the efforts of F. G. Cookman, who conceived the idea and gave much time and labor to collecting the money and getting the work done. . . .

Staff Sgt. Harold F. Cookman, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Cookman, was reported as missing in action since March 31, 1943. To date his parents have no further information. He was in service over north Africa.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, May 28, 1943, Page 5

Cookmans Receive No News About Son

Clear Lake – Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Cookman, 409 E. Main street, whose son, St. Sgt. Harold F. Cookman, was reported missing in action in the north African area last March 31, have received no further communication from the government, they said Friday.

They received clothing, left at his base when he began his last flight several weeks ago, but the accompanying letter from headquarters said that this did not necessarily indicate a casualty. Although no reports have been received, the Cookmans have not given up hoping that their son will yet be located. Usually some development is reported at the end of a year’s time.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, March 24, 1944, Page 7

War Department Confirms
Harold Cookman’s Death

Missing in Action in Mediterranean Area
Since March 31, 1943

Clear Lake – Mr. and Mrs. Floyd G. Cookman, 409 E. Main St., have received a message from the war department stating that their son, S/Sgt. Harold F. Cookman, who has been missing in action since March 31, 1943, is now presumed to be dead as of April 1, 1944. The letter from Brig Gen. Robert H. Dunlop, acting adjutant general, said in part:

“Since your son was reported missing the department has entertained the hope that he survived and that information would be revealed dispelling the uncertainty surrounding his absence. However, as in many cases, the conditions of warfare deny us such information. The record concerning your son shows that, as a member of the crew of a bomber, he participated in a bombing mission over the Mediterranean sea, off the Tunisian coast, March 31, 1943, and failed to return.

“I regret the necessity for this message but trust that the ending of a long period of uncertainty may give at least some small measure of consolation. I hope you may find sustaining comfort in the thought that the uncertainty with which war surrounded the absence of your son has enhanced the honor of his service to his country and of his sacrifice.”

A citation of honor from H. H. Arnold, commanding general of the army air forces, said, “He lived to bear his country’s arms. He died to save its honor. He was a soldier and he knew a soldier’s duty. We, in solemn pride, rededicate ourselves to complete fulfillment of the task for which he so gallantly placed his life upon the altar of man’s freedom.”

The Purple Heart decoration “for military merit and for wounds received in action” has been received from Henry l. Stimson, secretary of war. A certificate by Franklin D. Roosevelt, president of the United States, says, “He stand in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings. Freedom lives and, through it, he lives in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.”

A card of condolence was sent by General Marshall, saying, “Your son fought valiantly in a supreme hour of his country’s need.”

S/Sgt. Cookman was born on the Cookman homestead in Mt. Vernon township, Feb. 18, 1913, and moved with his parents to Clear Lake in 1920. He was graduated from Clear Lake high school and Mason City junior college and attended the University of Iowa, Iowa City. He was one of the first Globe-Gazette carrier boys in Clear Lake, was employed by the Mason City Tent and Awning company for some time. He assisted Arnold Moeller in arranging the stock and opening the Moeller shoe store at Clear Lake. At the time of his enlistment he was an employe (sic) of the Clear Lake postoffice.

St. Sgt. Cookman and his brother, Sgt. Walter C. Cookman, now at Aloe Air Field, Victoria, Texas, enlisted in the air corps together and were inducted at Des Moines Feb. 6, 1942. He went first to Shepherd Field, Texas, and was shortly assigned to Scott Field, Ill., where he was graduated in radio work July 10, 1942. His mother attended the exercises. He then entered a school for aerial gunners at Harlingen, Texas, and was graduated from there Aug. 13 of the same year.

He was stationed at different camps for a time and took a number of long flights, going to New York City, Detroit, Mich., and the west coast. His last station in the United States was at Palm Beach, Fla., and he went from there to Dutch Guiana, S. A., where he was seen by friends early in March, 1943. His last letter home was written some place in north Africa March 24, 1943.

Besides his parents and brother, Sgt. Cookman is survived by a sister, Mrs. Edward Markussen, Cedar Falls, and other more distant relatives. He was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic church and served as altar boy for some time.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, June 02, 1944, Page 108 (photo included)