Army Badge
  • Name: Francis Einar Koppala
  • Location of Birth: Bovey, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: March 29, 1922
  • Date of Death: September 6, 1992
  • Parents: Julius Koppala, Sr. & Senja (Ollila) Koppala
  • High School and Class: 1940 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: 1948 Itasca Junior College, Coleraine, Minnesota
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota - degree in business administration
  • Highest Rank: S SGT (Staff Sergeant)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: November 14, 1942
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: February 15, 1946
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Francis Einar Koppala
    Race: White
    Age: 20
    Birth Date: 16 March 1922 [birth record states March 29]
    Birth Place: Bovey, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Trout Lake Township, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: June 30, 1942
    Employer: Balkan Mining Co., Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota
    Weight: 190
    Height: 6-1
    Complexion: Light brown
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Brown
    Other characteristic: Small scar on left wrist
    Next of Kin: Julius G. Koppala

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – September 3, 1943 – “Camp Gruber, Okla., August 15, 1943. Hello Everyone: It’s been some time since I wrote and the chief reason for my doing so now is due to the fact that I read an article in the Bovey Press that I received yesterday about the “Rainbow” Division. I was indeed surprised to read about it in a paper from home. As yet, I have not been able to find anyone in this Division from home although I have found several boys from Minnesota. I have been glad to receive your paper each week and find some time, regardless as to how busy I am, to read it from one end to the other. If there are any boys in the “Rainbow” Division, I’d be glad to hear from them or get together with them during what little spare time I have. My time being very brief to write letters in, I’ll have to close with hopes of hearing from some of the boys from back home. As Always, Francis E. Koppala.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – 3 March 1944 – “December 19, 1943 – Dear Mrs. Martin: Received your card and wish to thank you. The smell of the north woods again was wonderful from that sprig of cedar. I have been kept busy, as are the rest of the boys, with their training, etc., whether they work in an office or elsewhere. This will be the second Christmas I have spent in the Army and I believe most of the boys, both here and across the pond, will agree with me when I say I’d much rather be home. However, we have a job to do, and now is no time to fall down on it. We all look forward to the time when it’s all over and we can return to our folks and loved ones. I wish to take this opportunity to wish you, the boys, and everyone else in the community a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Sincerely, Francis E. Koppala”

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Francis Koppala was raised in the Bovey-Trout Lake area. He worked for the Danube Mine prior to entering military service. He married Marion White in 1948 in Minnesota. He accepted a job in auditing for Fairmont Foods, Omaha, Nebraska and transferred to Denver, Colorado, where he lived for several years. He then accepted a job with the Federal Government doing audit and income tax work. He moved to Montibello, California, later moving to Placentia, California to work with Northrup Corp. He retired in 1988 and was called back to work for Northrup Corp. part-time for two years. He owned his own income tax and accounting business throughout most of his career, working from his home. He was active in many local organizations.

    Francis died in Placentia, California and is buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, California. He is survived by his wife Marion; a son, Frank; and one brother, Julius Koppala.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):