HiSTORY: Cobb paid ultimate sacrifice in WWII
June 11. 2013 3:58PM
(This is the second column of a two-part series.)
It was a cold day in Dell Rapids Dec. 10, 1942; the average temperature was 23 degrees. Nearly two weeks after the tragic event, Ruth Cobb received word regarding the death of her son, James Mallory Cobb.
James was an integrated part of Dell Rapids. He had made friends growing up in Dell Rapids and graduating high school here. His ancestors, the Richardson’s, were among the early settlers. James Russell Richardson, great grandfather to James, owned and built the third house in Dell Rapids. His grandfather, Chester Mallory, built a house almost entirely on his own, a great feat for a one armed man. And, of course, Ruth Cobb ran a beauty shop in Dells for nearly 70 years.
Dell Rapids was a part of who James Mallory Cobb was.
Nearly nine months after he enlisted in the Navy, the 22-year-old was killed.
Dell Rapids Tribune March 9, 1944: “The “Purple Heart” was recently posthumously awarded James Cobb, who paid the supreme sacrifice early in December, 1942, while serving with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific zone.
The heart is a medal officially awarded by the United State Government to all men in the service who are wounded or meet death in action.
James was the first Dell Rapids man reported killed while serving with the U.S. forces for World War Two. Report of hi fate reached here on December 10, 1942 … The mead of honor was received by his mother, Mrs. Ruth Cobb, early last week. The emblem bears three stars and two bars, indicating that he had served in three major engagements, in two war zones.”
James, nor his body, ever came home. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
While some take great strides to imprint themselves on the History of Dell Rapids, for James Mallory Cobb it was just a split second that made him forever a part of Dell Rapids – and a hero.
Currently there are about fifteen WWII Veterans living in Dell Rapids. Take time to thank them. Take time to honor our heroes.