SSgt. Marion E. Cooper
HQ. Company 643rd TD BN
D-Company 414th IR, 104th Infantry Division
Born: 2 September 1922 Place: Mardela Springs, MD
Died: 24 August 2013 Place: Wilmington, DE
Buriel-Place: White Clay Creek Church Cemetery, Newark, DE
Wife: Agnes Wessels Married: 28 June 1947
Children: Gary and John
Good Conduct Medal - American Defence Service Medal - WWII Victory Medal
European African Middle Eastern Service Medal
Battle Stars"Ardennes-Rhineland-Central Europe"
Email I Received from his son
I had heard my Dad sometimes talk about his time in the Army througout my life (I am 54 years old), usually about the places he saw in Europe, but became more keenly interested around the time the Band of Brothers miniseries came out. I started doing a little online research and found much of the tank destroyer information through some of the same links you have on your site. I started to ask my Dad his more detailed memories and he provided me with the picture and records that I have attached.
I believe I have seen the A Company picture you have on your site and shown it to Dad. Perhaps the reason why he is not in the picture is he told me he was assigned to HQ Company in a support role, although I note on his discharge paper that D Company is referenced. Many of his memories are clouded due to the passage of time, but he has good recollection of training at Fort Hood in Texas and Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, shipping out of Boston (coincidentally where I lived in the early 1980's in the Charlestown Navy Yard which had been converted to residences), landing in Cherbourg, France, visiting Mont St Michel, being stationed at Fountainebleau, and their initial action in the Ardennes. After the victory in Europe, he came back to the states, got 30 days leave, and then was sent by train to West Coast to prepare for deployment in the Pacific. I believe they were in route at Denver, Colorado when they observed people celebrating and found out Japan had surrendered. He finished out his time at Camp San Luis Obispo in California.
I had found Bernie Haas' story on line (the internet is a wonderful thing), looked up his phone number and put Dad in contact with him. Although they did not remember each other (there were over 600 men in the 643rd TD BN if I am correct), they had a good talk and exchanged correspondence. It turns out Bernie also has a son named Gary, who lives fairly close to Dad (he lives in Newark, Delaware). Dad was disappointed to find out he had never known about the 643rd reunions which had occured in nearby Philadelphia, PA.
I hope to visit Europe some day and see many of the places Dad talked about.
Info/photos received from;
John and Gary Cooper (son's)
Marion's Honorable Discharge document
Marion's Discharge document say's 104th Infantry Division, 414 Infantry Regiment, D. Company.
After the 643rd TD BN was Inactivated (17 Nov. 1945) he was transfered to the 104th Infantry Division.( Nicknamed: Timberwolf)