Tennessee World War II hero passes away at 99

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 3:51 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A Tennessee hero passed away last night at the age of 99. Charles Coolidge, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient passed away in Chattanooga, TN. Coolidge was a man in rarified air.

He was one of two remaining World War II Medal of Honor recipients. His death Tuesday serves as a stark reminder the Greatest Generation is getting smaller every day.

The Charles Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga confirmed the sad news, the chairman of the board of trustees Noah Long saying in part, “Coolidge was, above all, a model of integrity, honor and determination who is memorialized by a park, a highway, and the many institutions that bear his name. However, his greatest legacy is the hundreds of thousands of lives that he touched during his 99 years on earth.”

Coolidge was one of 472 Medal of Honor recipients from World War II. He was given the honor for fighting off dozens of Nazis to save his own men. Keith Hardison executive director of the Medal of Honor Heritage Center says he does not read historical fiction because, he says, he can just read about people like Charles Coolidge.

“What these men and one woman actually did who were Medal of Honor recipients is far more amazing than anything anybody could make up. These are genuine American heroes through and through,” said Hardison.

We are working to find out more about funeral and memorial details.

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