copyright © Wartime Heritage Association 2012-2024 Website hosting courtesy of - a company
Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering World War II
Wilfred Dean Coolen
Return To Links
Name: Wilfred Dean Coolen Rank: Private Service Number: 31429517 Service: 33rd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, US Army Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: September 26, 1915 Place of Birth: Fox Point, Lunenburg Co., Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: January 5, 1944 Place of Enlistment: Boston, Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 28 Address at Enlistment: Woburn, Massachusetts Occupation: Bookkeeper Height: 5 feet, 11 inches Complexion: Light Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Blue Date of Death: September 22, 1944 Age: 28 Cemetery: Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Belgium Grave: Plot C, Row 11, Grave 5 Wilfred Dean Coolen was born in Fox Point on the Aspotogan Peninsula, in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia; the son of Ross Curvin Coolen (1884-1927) and Grace Elizabeth (Noleus/Holmes) Coolen (1888–1960). His father was born in Hubbards Cove, Halifax County, Nova Scotia. Wilfred’s father served Canada in the First World War with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in the 25th Battalion, enlisting January 25, 1917. Wilfred, who preferred his middle name, Dean, moved to the United States travelling on the Boston- Yarmouth Steamship Company ferry from Yarmouth to Boston on October 4, 1922, at the age of seven with his parents. His father died five years later in 1927. Dean’s twin daughters would later share that he loved basketball and music, and lit up any room he entered with his outgoing personality. He graduated from Woburn High School and put himself through business school while working 2 part time jobs; all while supporting his widowed mother. Dean registered for the US Draft on October 16, 1940, in Washington, DC and married his wife Ena J. on November 9, 1940. According to his daughters, Dean and Ena lived with both widowed maternal and paternal grandmothers in the same 2 story apartment during the war so the women could all help one another. Private Wilfred Dean Coolen served with the 33rd Armored Regiment of the 3rd Armored Division and was killed in action on September 22, 1944; four days before his 29th birthday. He was killed in the area of Stolberg, Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen), in Germany. Wilfred Dean Coolen was initially interred at a Henri- Chapelle Cemetery (designated as temporary cemetery 1240 by the US Army Grave Registration Service) in Section SSS, Row 4, Grave 64, and reinterred at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium when it was reorganized in Plot C, Row 11, Grave 5. Private Coolen's widow, Ena, passed away in March of 2021 at the age of 105. “Our father served his country to ensure our country remained free. We would have loved to know him since he passed when we were 23 months old." Dean’s twin daughters.
Sources: Photo of Dean from his daughters Sharon and Sharleen Coolen, as shared with ‘They Speak: Voices of Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery’ April 9, 2021, (enhanced by the Wartime Heritage Association April 2023) American Battle Monuments Commission - Wilfred Dean Coolen American Battle Monuments Commission - Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery findagrave