Bronze Star to be presented to Bisbee resident for WWII service | News
A long time Bisbee resident and veteran of World War II will be receiving a Bronze Star next week at Ft. Huachuca.
Commanding General Gregg C. Potter and U.S. Representative Ron Barber will be presenting the Bronze Star to retired Army Captain Richard Ebert Cooksley, during a ceremony on September 4 at Fitch Auditorium.
Cooksley, is 92 years old and a former prisoner of war (from 1942-1945) and survivor of the Bataan Death March. He enlisted July 20, 1941 and was assigned to the Headquarters Squadron, 20th Air Base Crew (Army Air Corps), he was taken prisoner on April 9, 1942 at Bataan, Philippines.
During his imprisonment he suffered from a variety of tropical diseases and malnutrition. He was finally liberated Sept. 12, 1945 at Koska, Japan and was evacuated to the U.S. on Oct. 20, 1945. In 1946, he reenlisted and served until his retirement in 1960 at the rank of captain.
The Bronze Star Medal is an individual military decoration that is awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces and the ninth highest military award (including both combat and non-combat awards) in the order of precedence of U.S. military decorations.
President Roosevelt authorized the Bronze Star Medal by Executive Order 9419 dated Feb. 4, 1944, retroactive to Dec. 7, 1941. The Executive Order was amended by President Kennedy, per Executive Order 11046 dated Aug. 24, 1962, to expand the authorization to include those serving with friendly forces.