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Post History

Ingalls-Koeppen Post 102, originally called the Joseph Bailey Ingalls Post, for PVT Joseph Ingalls, the first soldier in the community to give his life for his country in WWI, was changed to add CPT Howard Koeppen after he was shot down over Germany and killed in WWII.


Private Joseph Bailey Ingalls was born Aug. 14, 1887 from a long line of service men. He was a farmer during WWI, and on Dec. 10, 1917, he enlisted in the U. S. Army. He was sent to Columbus Barracks in Ohio and from there transferred to Camp Dodge in Iowa where he caught pneumonia and died in camp, February 12, 1918 as the first soldier in the Walworth Community to die in service to his country. 


Captain Howard Koeppen of Walworth was shot down and killed in a B-17 bomber over Abenheim, Germany on August 17, 1943. He was 26 years old and flying his 17th mission. He trained at Bakersfield, CA, Waco, TX, and Sebring, FL. After he graduated from Sebring, and received his wings and commission, he was assigned to train in B-17s, the Flying Fortresses. Eventually he was ordered to the Midwest where he was given his crew. He was the pilot on the plane Mary Jane II along with other nine crew members. From that staging area, they flew to Bangor, Maine, then to England via the Great Circle Route. In England they were stationed at Kimbolton and assigned to the 379th Bomber Group. Capt Koeppen and his crew members were shot down during the memorable Schweinfurt - Regansburg raid on the Schweinfurt ball-bearing factories on August 17, 1943. Sixty percent of the planes on that raid were lost. When Capt Koeppen's plane became unmanageable and started to lose altitude, he ordered the crew to bail out. He stayed with the plane and continued to fly it while the crew members jumped. Two engines were out, one was on fire, half of the tail was missing, and the plane was in a flat spin. The ball turret gunner was the last out of the plane. All of the crew were taken prisoner immediately after they reached the ground.

 

 

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