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Martin Cogan

SGT in 406th Engineer Combat Co

Military occupational specialty: 59 (foreman, construction)


Born 1918 in NY, Died 1996

County of residence at enlistment: Kings County, NY
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: skilled occupations in the manufacture of miscellaneous products
College education before the war: Brooklyn College 3 years
Notes: S/SGT; Certificate of Merit; CG SP TRS 12th A Gp. Meritorious conduct: squad leader, France, 10-13 Aug 44
Source: Special Order 19, 23d HQ, Camp Forrest, 7 April 1944; Awards and Decorations;

Martin Cogan was born on August 8, 1918 in New York City; his parents were born in Poland and/or Russia. (Different statements in different census years.)  He grew up in Brooklyn, and graduated from Samuel Tilden High School where he was the star pitcher on the award-winning baseball team. He likely graduated in 1937, which is when he received his social security card, and where the last mention is made of him as a high school ball player. A spring 1937 newspaper article lists him as a "220 pound hurler." This matches his weight of 225 in 1940, and confirms that this is the same Martin Cogan.

In the 1940 census he is listed as an unemployed hotel busboy. He had only worked 12 weeks in 1939, and had been unemployed and seeking work for 24 works as of April 17, 1940. He and his older brother Bernard, who was seeking publicity work, were living with their mother, Edna, who was divorced from their father and working as a Hebrew School teacher.

By October that year he was working at Wes Wall Fabrics.

He enlisted on March 3, 1943. At the time of enlistment he stated that he had three years of college, possibly Brooklyn College, since a 1940 newspaper article lists a Martin Cogan as a member of the freshman baseball team. He was likely still at Wes Wall, since his enlistment form states that he was in a "skilled manufacturing" position.

He was eventually assigned to the 406th Combat Company Special. As part of that unit, he received a Certificate of Merit, along with two other men who received the Bronze Star, for their actions performed on Operation 158 Brittany, when the third platoon was cut off near Lorient, France.

He was released from the army on November 17, 1945 (per his VA death record).

I found a Martin Cogan living in Westbury, NY and Fresh Meadows, NY at various points in the period from 1950 on, but cannot confirm this is the same person. I found nothing else about him.

Martin Cogan died on August 11, 1996.


1930 census

1937 article from Brooklyn Daily Eagle

1940 census

1940 Draft Card

1943 Enlistment Record

1996 Social Security death record

1996 VA death record

406th Unit History Compiled

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