Sgt. William R. Coulter, Jr.

Our Hometown Heroes

William R. Coulter, Jr.

Routine Surveillance Turns Deadly

One would never think that the fighting in World War II, would extend to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, but it did. William R. Coulter, Jr., and his crew perished after a routine surveillance over the area.

Born on April 6, 1922, Coulter and his family moved to Sunnyside from Memphis, TN, in 1940, just before World War II, began. William R. Coulter Senior is listed as his father and Mary A. Coulter his mother. The oldest sibling in his family, Coulter had one younger brother and two younger sisters. Research shows four years of high school and an occupation as actor.

Enlisting early in the war, January 15, 1941, Coulter joined the Army-Air Corps. Rising to the rank of Sgt., Coulter was part of an 11-man crew on a LB-30 aircraft. Homeward (airbase) bound after a routine inspection of an area around the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador, the plane somehow crashed near Pinzon Island. Another plane and crew were sent to hunt for their downed brothers, but to no avail.

The official date of being “Killed in Action” is listed as July 30, 1942. Coulter was only 20 years young. His remains were finally discovered and brought back to be interred in the Chattanooga, TN., National Cemetery on May 11, 1948.