Joseph Franklin Cordner was born October 26, 1923, in Minot, ND, to Joseph Albert Cordner and Mary Francis Cordner. Joseph Cordner attended elementary school in Fargo and graduated from high school in Devil's Lake in 1941. Joseph Cordner enlisted in the US Air Force in 1942, serving overseas for two years.
Captain Joseph Cordner, P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber pilot, was awarded a Cluster to the Distinguished Flying Cross for leading a highly successful attack on 25 aircraft during which he shot down a Focke-Wulf 190. Captain Cordner was awarded the DFC for participating in a mission in which his "Hell Hawks" group destroyed 21 German airplanes without losing a single plane. Having flown more than 100 combat missions, Captain Cordner also wore the Air Medal with four Silver Oak Leaf Clusters and the blue ribbon signifying his outfit had been awarded a unit presidential citation. (The totality of his medal honors is not known by this writer, at this time.) Captain Cordner received his discharge in 1945 and returned to North Dakota.
Mr. Joseph Cordner attended the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks, graduating from the School of Engineering as a geologist. Mr. Cordner lived in Bismarck for five years when he was employed by the Pure Oil Co, as a geologist. He married Patricia Cordner and had two children, Michael and MaryJo. Mr. and Mrs. Cordner divorced after an unknown number of years, and moved to Tripoli, Libya, where he worked as a geologist with the Mobil Oil Co.
In the late 1950's, Mr. Cordner met and married France Jeanne Burthe-Mique. Together they had two children, Geoffrey Phillip Cordner (04/21/60) and Denise Francoise Cordner (12/05/61). Mr. Cordner became ill with kidney failure shortly after his second child's birth, and passed away on October 2, 1962, in Rochester, Minnesota, where the family went for his medical treatment. Mr. Cordner left behind his widowed wife, France Cordner; his four children; his parents; his two sisters (Mr. James Tyler and Mrs. James Childs); and his one brother, Albert Cordner.
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