Woodbury County

Lt. R. J. Coonen




Second Lt. R. J. Coonen, 31, reported in a telegram from the War Department March 26 as “killed in action February 26 on Luzon,” is alive. 

Such was the content of a telegram received Sunday from his mother, Mrs. R. H. Coonen, to a daughter, Mrs. John Snyder, 1300 Cornelia street.  In a letter to Mrs. Snyder from her mother March 18, it was said that a chaplain at the hospital said that the officer had suffered a very serious head injury in battle and was hospitalized.

In Sunday’s telegram, Mrs. Snyder was informed:

“Telegram mistake. Babe (Lt. Coonen) is alive.  Will see him tomorrow.”  Mrs. Snyder said she had reason to believe that the officer may have been flown from Luzon to Auburn, Cal., where he may be hospitalized.

“The telegram,” she said, “was the best Easter present I ever received.”

Source: The Sioux City Journal, April 2, 1945 (photo included)