The Life and Death of
a WWII Paratrooper in Reports
of the documentation is located here)
George Duaane Coulter was born
July 16, 1915 and was first in the Army between
March 15, 1935 and October 8, 1940 with the Michigan
National Guard. He was a member of Co M of the 126th
Coulter was 28 when he was
inducted into the US Army March 28, 1944 at Fort
Sheridan, Illinois. He was married to Edwina with
two daughters, Shirley Ann and Barbara Jean Coulter
and lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His mother
Alice Coulter also lived in Grand Rapids as well.
Coulter was given an Army
Serial Number of 36959773 and was sent to Camp
Robinson in Arkansas for his Basic Training.
Private Coulter graduated from Basic Training August
5, 1944 and was then sent to Fort Benning, Georgia
to train to become a Paratrooper.
Private Coulter arrived at Fort
Benning and was put into the Receiving Company
August 9, 1944 and the joined the TPS August 21 and
graduated and became a Paratrooper September 15,
Private Coulter left the New
York Port of Entry November 3, 1944 and arrived in
the European Theater of Operation November 16,
1944. Private Coulter they joined the 507th
Parachute Infantry of the 17th Airborne
Division November 21, 1944. He they became part of
Co D of the 507th Parachute Infantry
December 7, 1944.
The 507th Parachute
Infantry flew from England to France December 24,
1944. They were then being trucked to Mourmelon,
France. Between Thuisy and Reims December 25, 1944
on the way to Mourmelon three men fell off of the
truck. George Coulter was killed after falling off
his truck and run over by truck next in line. He
was buried December 26, 1944 at 1445 in the
Champigneul Temporary Cemetery.
Coulterís wife Edwina was
notified of his death January 14, 1945. In 1949
Edwina decided to let remains left overseas. He now
lies in the Permanent American Cemetery at Epinal,
Mrs. Edwina Coulter was a widow
and never remarried. She passed away at the age of
93, June 28, 2002. She left behind two daughters,
ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
One of Georgeís and Edwinaís daughters Shirley
Jordan is still alive in Michigan it seems. I hope
I will be able to put a face to Mr. George Coulter
at some point.
Private George Coulter was the
first soldier from the 507th Parachute
Infantry to die during the Battle of the Bulge. The
507th went into action at the start of
While searching for a photo of
Private Coulter I ran across a photo of his
headstone in the Epinal American Cemetery. They
have him listed as being in the 82nd
Airborne Division when in fact the 507th
Parachute Infantry Regiment left the 82nd
Airborne Division August 27, 1944.
The 507th Parachute
Infantry Regiment was attached to the 17th
Airborne Division the same day August 27, 1944 and
became permanently assigned to the 17th
Airborne Division on March 1, 1945. This is
the exact same process that the 506th Parachute
Infantry Regiment went through March 1, 1945.
The 506th has the 101st Airborne Division on all of
Leave it to the ABMC (American
Battle Monument Commission) to screw up yet another
headstone. Itís a shame the Veteranís
Administration canít take over the ABMC as the VA
corrects wrong headstone as soon as they are made
aware of it.
It's worse as there are 42 507th
Parachute Infantry Regiment men who were killed
between December 25, 1945 and March 21, 1945 and
buried overseas. Of
the 42 men, 41 of their headstones are wrong.
The headstones should look this one from for Pfc
Gilbert Murray. Two of the other 41 men
have the 82nd Airborne Division on the
headstones and the remaining 39 men donít
17th Airborne Division at all.
ABMC on the other hand
refuses to correct the headstones in their care,
even under orders from the Army.
Brian N. Siddall
November 14, 2019