Coogan, John Leslie “Jackie”, born on 26-10-1914 Los Angeles, California, in a show business family where his father, John H. Coogan, was a dancer and his mother, Lillian Dolliver, had been a child star on the stage. Shortly after Jackie’s birth the Coogan’s moved to New York and it was there that Jackie made his first real appearance in the theatre, at the age of four. At age five he began touring with his family in vaudeville shows. Charlie Chaplin who had been looking for the right child to star next to him in the movie “The Kid” was impressed and knew right away he had found the perfect child when he met him.
Coogan enlisted in the United States Army in March 1941. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he requested a transfer to United States Army Air Forces as a glider pilot because of his civilian flying experience. After graduating from glider school, he was made a flight officer and he volunteered for hazardous duty with the 1st Air Commando Group . In December 1943, the unit was sent to India. He flew British troops, the Chindits, under General Orde Charles Wingate on 05-02-1944, landing them at night in a small jungle clearing 100 miles behind Japanese lines in the Burma campaign. A highly religious Christian, Wingate became a supporter of Zionism, seeing it as his religious duty to help the Jewish community in Palestine form a Jewish state. Assigned to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1936, he set about training members of the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary organization, which became the Israel Defense Forces with the establishment in 1948 of the state of Israel. General Moshe Dayan was a member of the Haganah (see Moshe Dayan). He is most famous for his creation of the Chindits , airborne deep-penetration troops trained to work behind enemy lines in the Far East campaigns against the Japanese during World War II. Wingate died age 31 in an air crash on 24-04-1944.
Death and burial ground of Coogan, John Leslie “Jackie”.
On 01-03-1984, Jackie Coogan died of cardiac arrest, at the age of 69, at Santa Monica Medical Center, in Santa Monica, California. He is buried on Culver City’s Holy Cross Cemetery.