COAKER, Vernon

Rank: 
Sergeant (Temporary Troop Sergeant Major)
Unit/Base: 
3 Commando
Regiment/Corps: 
Devonshire Regiment
Service: 
Army
Number: 
5620234
Died : 
Tuesday, June 6, 1944
Killed in action or died of wounds
Age: 
23
Cemetery/Memorial: 
Vernon Coaker 3 Commando
Troop Sergeant Major Vernon Coaker, 3 troop, died during operations at Le Plein, Normandy, France [1][2][3][4]
Extract from No.3 Commando War Diary Appendix 'A' No.2
Part of a report by Capt. K.D. Ponsford OC 3 Troop.
"Attack on Le Plein - During the evening I went round to contact O.C. 6 Commando and returned at 2030 hours to learn that enemy mortar bombs had landed close to the Post Office and killed T.S.M. Coaker and wounded three others (not of 3 Commando) the identity of whom I have never discovered"[2].
  • 14 July 1943 (Lance Sergeant) wounded during operations at Agnone, Sicily, and the bridge at Malati (3 Commando Bridge) [5][5a].
  • 28 March 1942 (Lance Corporal) (No.3 Commando) took part in Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He embarked on board motor launch ML307 and was evacuated back to the UK after the raid [6].
Sources
[1] CWGC
[2] No 3 Cdo War Diary.
[3] Storm from the Sea by Peter Young.
[4] Fighting with the Commandos by Stan Scott No. 3 Cdo. 3 troop.
[5] Casualty Lists  / National Archives file WO417/65 ( correction to earlier).
[5a] Linked Content below for detail of operation.
[6] St. Nazaire Society website.
 
Notes
We have 2 photos of 3 troop where he is wearing the insignia of a Troop Sergeant Major. The CWGC Grave Concentration Report (1) shows rank as CSM; the Grave Concentration Report (2) shows CSM crossed out with War Substantive Sergeant added. Trooper Stan Scott, 3 troop, verified that Vernon was the TSM of 3 troop at the time of his death.
 
Primary Roll of Honour: 
Photo of grave in Gallery: 
Yes

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