Middletown Paratrooper Defies Pain
Maj. C. B. McCoid Walks
At Angle Rather Than
Miss Texas Maneuvers
HOOD, Texas, April 6 (AP) --- The men who wear the
Paratroopers wings wrap themselves in a
pride that is a protective shield against fear.
They laugh at danger, scoff fear, admit only
apprehension when they tumble into space and wait the three long seconds
for the shock of a billowing parachute. These men, youths and grandfathers,
chant a song about "Blood Upon the Risers," the saga of a man "who ain't gonna jump no more." It is almost their battle cry.
For two weeks, paratroopers
have been on the ground as aggressor troops in Exercise Long Horn,
biggest military maneuver of its type in history.
The big mock war being staged over 1800 miles of ranch ranch land
enters its last week Monday. When it ends Friday the men of
the 82nd Airborne and the 508th Regimental!
Combat Team- ---jumpers all ---
go back to bases in North Carolina and Georgia. The best way to
learn about these men is just to listen as they drink, as they eat, as they
They're all types. Like Maj. Chester B. McCoid, of Middletown,
Conn., 29, a soldier since he was 16.
A fabulous fellow McCoid. just hasn't found the time to spend a
month in traction splints to get hia back straightened. He's been
walking at an angle --- in biting pain --- for months now.
Why? He probably would have
missed this maneuver and you just don't quit.
McCoid's sidekick, Capt. Bruce Benedict, an OSS
man in World War II and a reporter on the San Francisco Chronicle In
civilian fills in the gaps McCoid never bridges.
Jumps With Knee
Benedict says fondly, got half his knee shot off away while he was
in a plane going in during the invasion of Europe. So
what does he do? He jumps with his men and then starts walking and
fighting on the ground."
Why did you
jump then, McCoid?
His answer: If you're a paratrooper, "You Jump if you're not a
This feeling you must
jump isn't because the men like it; everyone is a little
apprehensive even if he is a master parachutist with more than a hundred
"You start getting hopped up when you're in the
air," McCoid explained, "the excitement, the tension takes hold. Your feet
start pounding. When it's time to go you're high all over and
all you think of is getting to the door and getting out."
An All-state football player at Woodrow Wilson High School in
1940, McCoid received his diploma after he had gone into Federal
service with the 43rd Division, National Guard the next year.
He was transferred to Fort Benning, Ga., where he won his
paratrooper's wings and a commission.
The paratrooper, like the ones taking part in. Long Horn, accepts
broken bones and death in a casual manner. For it will never happen the one you're talking to, only
the "other guy," the one who gets bad "body" position, or who "loses" his head.
The spectacular feat of one paratrooper catching another after his 'chute failed to open was awesome
to civilian spectators watching the of 2,310 men on March 25. But, it isn't an uncommon happening to the paratroopers.
"It takes guts, though," McCoid said. "The guy that does the grabbing is taking a chance on his
own 'chute rupturing and collapsing."
;Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, 07 Apr 1952, Mon, Page 7'
Colonel Chester Bailey McCoid, U.S. Army (Retired), 77, died at home on Sunday (January 2, 2000). He and his wife, the former Dorothy M. Jamison, lived in the Westfield District of Middletown. They had been married more than 54 years.
McCoid, a Veteran of more than 34 years of active service, was born in San Francisco, CA, on 31 July 1922. He was the younger son of the late Colonel Chester B. McCoid and of the late Florence Addis.
While on active duty, McCoid, a master parachutist fought as a combat infantryman in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was therefore one of only 294 three-time holders of the prestigious Combat Infantry Badge which is emblematic of direct engagement at close quarters with enemy ground forces in three wars.
This officer took part in 16 campaigns, spread over a total of eight years of combat duty . In one of these, the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944, McCoid led a parachute rifle company of the 82nd Airborne Division. There he was wounded for the first time. After World War II, in which he was again wounded, he was granted a commission in the regular army.
After fighting in Korea, McCoid was an exchange officer with the U.S Navy for four years, during which he attended the Naval War College at Newport, RI. Later he was a member of the Army General Staff
at the Pentagon.
Following this assignment, he became a student at the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA.
Then in 1966, McCoid journeyed to Vietnam where he was to serve for a total of 51 months, spread over three tours in the course of the next eight years. Among his several assignments in that theatre were command of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (airmobile) and service earlier as Deputy Commander of the Independent 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. Additionally, he advised the commanding generals of major tactical formations of the Army of Vietnam and of the Korean Armed Forces serving in that theatre.
Finally, McCoid headed the American Element of The Four Party Military Commission, Region Two, encompassing the City of Danang and three nearby provinces.
In this unusual role, he oversaw American interests in connection with the military armistice of 1973. This necessitated daily negotiations with representatives of the communists and of South Vietnam. Upon completion of this task, on 29 March 1973, Colonel McCoid left for the United States, the last ground force soldier to serve outside Saigon in the Vietnam War.
Upon return to Washington, he was appointed to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Retirement followed soon thereafter.
Among the many U.S. awards and decorations won by the deceased are The Distinguished Service Medal, The Silver Star, Five Legions of Merit, Five Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. He was also twice decorated by France and eight times by the Republic of Vietnam.
After retirement McCoid attended the University of Maryland. He graduated with a B.S. Degree (Summa Cum Laude) in 1975. His earlier academic experience included Westfield School and Woodrow Wilson High School-Class of 1941
- which he left prior to graduating when Middletown's National Guard units were federalized.
Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Chester B. McCoid,
III, of Clinton, IA, Scott C. McCoid of Ivoryton; two daughters,
Maureen Kennedy of Fairfax Station, VA, Naomi Litecky of West Friendship, MD; a brother, Dean McCoid of San Jose, CA; two sisters, Ruth Richards of Nokomis, FL, Margaret Monthei of Durham; seven grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by a brother, John and a sister, Lois.
Graveside services will be held at Miner Cemetery, Westfield District Middle-town, on Thursday, Jan. 6, at 1 p.m. Full military honors will be accorded.
Friends may call at the Doolittle Funeral Home, 14 Old Church St., Middletown, Wed. evening, from 6-8 p.m.
Donations may be made in his memory to B Company/Med, 169th Veterans Organization, Attn: Middletown.
of Jan Franco]
[courtesy of Lisa Jacobs]
Grave markers for Chester B. McCoid in Miner
Cemetery, Middletown (Middlesex county), Connecticut.
On 12 June 1939, Chester, at age 16 years, 10 months
and 9 days, joined the Connecticut National Guard. Between
that date and 26 June 1942, he held the ranks of Pvt, Pfc, Cpl and
Although his obituary stated that he
was commissioned after the war, he was made a 2nd Lt. much earlier
and by 2 April 1955 he was made a Captain which implies he led a
Company into the fray on D-Day.
He retired from service on 31 August 1965 as a
After his retirement he enrolled at the University of Maryland, graduating in 1975 near the top of his class.
Returning to Middletown, McCoid started an antique business and began to raise bees.
In 1976, Chester made an unsuccessful bid to unseat Raymond J. Dzialo
who was seeking his 10th term as the Democratic representative to
the 33rd Assembly District by a vote of 5,735 to 3,154.
His military decoration
included the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of
Merit with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters (OLC), Bronze Star Medal with "V"
device and 4 OLC, Purple Heart with 1 OLC, Air Medal with "V"
device, French Croix de Guerre (Palm), Republic of Vietnam
National Order and the Combat Infantryman Badge with 2 stars.