WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
GARTH BUNKER COTTAM
(local man, pilot killed in World War II)
BIOGRAPHYGarth Bunker Cottam was born January 13, 1920 in St. George.
Garth enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was assigned to 5th Air Force, 40th Fighter Squadron in the South Pacific.
On July 23, 1942, 2nd Lt. Garth B. Cottam took off from Port Moresby (Papua-New Guinea) on a mission in his P-400 Airacobra. He was last seen in bad weather near Salamaua. When he failed to return to base, he was declared missing in action (MIA) and presumed killed in action (KIA) over Buna Bay, New Guinea.
Lt. Cottam was officially declared dead on January 7, 1946. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. There is also a monument for 1st Lt. Cottam in the Veyo Cemetery where some of his other family members are buried.
The St. George VFW Post is named in his memory along with Keith Hafen.
REFERENCESHistory of the 40th Fighter Squadron
Pilots of the 40th Fighter Squadron
Aerial Victory Credits in the Southwest Pacific during World War II
PacificWrecks.com entry for 2nd Lt. Cottam and his Airacobra
Hodank Family History Archives
Find-A-Grave entry for Lieut Garth Bunker Cottam
BillionGraves entry for Lieut Garth B Cottam