Medal of Honor recipient Charles H. Coolidge dies

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Tennessee Metal of Honor recipient Charles H. Coolidge has died. He was 99.

Coolidge died Tuesday in Chattanooga, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced in a statement.

Coolidge received the Medal of Honor for actions he took in October 1944 during WWII. He was assigned to 2d Platoon, Company M, 3d Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division in the U.S. Army.

A German infantry attacked the heavy machine gun unit in France and with no officer present, Coolidge assumed command. Over three days, Coolidge exposed himself to enemy fire to inspire and support others and his leadership enabled the group to stop repeated attacks, the society said. On the fourth day, Coolidge was able to lead the men to an orderly retreat when their position was overrun.

He received the Medal of Honor on June 18, 1945.

After his Army service, Coolidge returned to Tennessee and worked for the Veterans Administration before moving into the family business, Chattanooga Printing and Engraving.

The Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga is named in his honor and tells the stories of Medal of Honor recipients since the Civil War.

Coolidge will be buried April 16 at the Chattanooga National Military Cemetery with full military honors, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.