Photo below provided to
by Clarence Smoyer, 3AD WWII

October 4, 1917 - May 26, 2007
3rd Armored WWII Veteran, Military Vehicles Expert, and Author

Notice below from the Birmingham News (Alabama)

  COOPER, BELTON YOUNGBLOOD, age 89, of Birmingham, died May 26, 2007. He was born in Huntsville, Alabama on October 4, 1917, son of the late Jimmie Lou Youngblood Cooper and George Price Cooper, Jr. Mr. Cooper grew up in Huntsville and attended the Virginia Military Institute and the University of Michigan. During World War II, he served as an Ordnance Liaison Officer with the 3rd Armored Division, and was awarded 5 Campaign battle stars, a Distinguished Unit Citation, the Belgian Fourragere and the Bronze Star Medal. His experiences in the European theater were the subject of his 1998 book "Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II". After the war, he completed his studies at the University of Michigan with a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. He moved to Birmingham to work for Ingalls Shipbuilding Company. He also worked for U.S. Pipe & Foundry Company for over 20 years, and for 33 years was President of the Herman Williams Company, Inc. Throughout his career, Mr. Cooper was active in the civic life of his community. As Chairman of the Education Committee of the Alabama Society Professional Engineers, he assisted in the establishment of the 4-year engineering college at UAB. He used his involvement with the National Society of Professional Engineers to play an influential role in the creation of the civilian space agency NASA. He was actively involved in the Redstone Club and the Birmingham Chapter of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of St. Mary's-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church, where he taught Sunday school for 42 years. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Rebecca Bowers Cooper; his sons Belton Cooper Jr. and his wife Debra; Lloyd Cooper and his wife Jane; Spencer Cooper and his wife Heather; and his grandsons, Maxwell and Graham, all of Birmingham. His brother Lawrence Cooper of Birmingham also survives him. Services will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2007 at 11:00AM at St. Mary's-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church. The family will receive friends prior to the service at the church at 10:00AM. Graveside service to follow at Elmwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests any memorial gifts be made to the Belton Y. Cooper Endowed Lecture Series in the Department of History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Development Office, HB 302, 1530 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-1260. Services are under the direction of Ridout's Valley Chapel (205.879.3401) in Homewood.

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