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Letters to George

The first in a Series

Coach K aka Mr. George Koskimaki was a High School Teacher and Basketball Coach in the Detroit Michigan area and a noted WWII Historian for the 101st Airborne Division.  George was the radioman for the commander of the 101st Maxwell Taylor going into Normandy.

In the mid 1960s George decided to write a book about the 101st Airborne Division in Normandy.  He settled on a theme which was based around June 6, 1944.  That eventually turned into D-Day with the Screaming Eagles which was released in 1970.

Creating the book was very interesting as interesting as the finished book.  Back in the 1960s there was no Google and that meant that George had to locate former members of the 101st.  He reached out to many places including the Don F. Pratt Museum in Fort Campbell, Kentucky and went to St. Louis NPRC (National Personal Record Center) to create rosters of soldiers.  In creating his book he also used military records including Pay Roll Records.  George had to go to St. Louis to get those and it cost quite a bit back in the mid-60s.

George then used those rosters to locate the men.  His main source were phone books and written letters to the last known location where they lived before the war.  The phone books he gathered were voluminous.  He said that he spent hours at night just scanning looking for numbers to call.  During that time of his life George slept about three hours a night he said.


Brian N. Siddall

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