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Russell R. Coates
December 5. 1944 | Scranton, PA
Much of the information on Russell R. Coates is incorrect. 1st Lt. Russell R. Coates was born on September 14, 1919 in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. He lived at Underwood Village, Olyphant, PA until 1936 when the village was closed by the coal company that owned the property. His family moved to Blakely-Peckville, PA. He was a star football player for Olyphant HS and in his senior year, 1938-1939, his team won the Lackawanna Conference championship. He graduated high school in 1939 and in 1940 he attended the University of Miami where he played football until 1943 when he and other team members enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He enlisted as a Private and went on to become a 1st Lieutenant. In 1943 he married Ellen Tomkins from Bridgeport, PA. On December 5, 1944, he was with 11 others in a B24 bomber flying near Charleston, SC, when the bomber collided with a P47 fighter plane. 1st Lt. Coates lost his life in the accident. He was returned to Scranton, PA and laid to rest at Abington Hills Cemetery, South Abington Twp. PA.