FLOYD JAMES COTA Sergeant US Air Corps Missing In Action in the Pacific
Floyd James Cota was born on 20 Nov 1919 in South Burlington, VT, the 5th child and son of Edward C. Cota and Della Amore (Amoor). The father was a Mill laborer. In the 1930 census we find the family living on Lime Kiln Road with 4 children and the father is a Runner at Woolen Mill. In 1940 they are living at the same place and have 3 additional children, but only 5 are listed; this makes a total of 8 children born to this couple. The father is now listed as a common laborer. In 1940 they are now at 25 Lime Kiln Road in South Burlington, VT. They list 3 children now, with Floyd who is age 20. The father is now a Public School Janitor age 60.
Floyd graduated from Eldredge Elementary school in 1934 and he was the Class Marshall in the ceremonies, and then graduated from 8th grade in 1935. On 2 Sep 1939 Floyd bought a building lot on Lime Kiln Road from his parents.
On 1 Jul 1941 his draft registration card he was age 21 and a Filling Station Operator for Dr. C. W. Gates on Williston Road in South Burlington, and was 5 ft 6 in. in height, 142 lbs with a dark complexion and gray eyes and black hair. They had no telephone at the house.
On 30 Aug 1941 Floyd married Leona Margaret Riley at a Catholic church in Burlington, VT. In the 1 Sep 1941 newspaper was mentioned his marriage at St Joseph church in Burlington and they moved into 229 Elmwood Ave in Burlington. The bride was employed at The Royal, and Floyd is a shipping clerk at E. B. & A. C. Whiting Company.
He entered the Air Corps on 30 Jan 1942 and went overseas on Oct 1943. Service # 11055713 He was wounded in January of 1944 and received the Purple Heart Medal.
Burlington Free Press 9 Mar 1944: Floyd Cota “Missing in Action” in the Pacific since Feb 11. He was in the 396th Bomber Squadron, 41st Bomber Group, Medium He was then awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster.
Missing after low level attack on Taroa Island on 10 February 1944 Airmen who perished on B-25D #41-30777: Bullock, Charles R ~ Capt, Pilot, WA Cota, Floyd J ~ Sgt, Gunner, VT Hervey, Rene L ~ T/Sgt, Radio Operator, MI Peloski, Edward C ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, PA Ptacek, Maurice L ~ 2nd Lt, Bombardier, CA Selsted, John H ~ 2nd Lt, Navigator, CA Source: Russ Pickett
Burlington Free Press 29 Jan 1946: Floyd Cota AAC Proclaimed Dead, his brother in law was George Myers. Burlington Daily News 29 Jan 1946: Floyd Cota Declared Dead. Burlington Free Press 6 Feb 1946: Memorial Mass at St Joseph church.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/17365521 Old Mount Calvary cemetery in Burlington, VT.
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56127707 Honolulu Memorial
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.