David Blackburst Archive:From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Blackburst)
Subject: Re: Melvin Coffey
Date: 10 Oct 2000 00:00:00 GMT
Melvin Stacey Coffey was born in 1940 and spent most of his early life in New Orleans. In 1953, he "started hanging around with" the (smaller) Moisant Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, and he received a special dispensation to join the unit in 1954 at age 14. The Moisant unit attended two joint meetings with the (larger) New Orleans Cadet Squadron (Lakefront Airport) in 1954, and it was here Coffey met David Ferrie. In April 1955, Ferrie's membership renewal in the Lakefront squadron was declined, so he spent the months of June, July and August as a volunteer lecturer for the Moisant squadron. Among the cadets in the latter squadron at this time were Coffey and Lee Harvey Oswald. Coffey left the squadron in September 1957, and joined the U.S. Army in November 1958, stationed in New Mexico.
Coffey was discharged from the Army in February 1962, and began visiting David Ferrie once a week. The frequency of the visits increased, and by May 1963, the two saw each other 2 or 3 times a week. By this time, Coffey was employed at the Chrysler Corporation's Michoud Plant.
On the evening of September 21, 1963, Coffey was visited by Ruth Kyler, who had recently been "dumped" by Coffey pal Thomas Nation Compton III. Coffey comforted Kyler and offered her a few drinks. Kyler became despondent and attempted suicide. Coffey called an ambulance and Kyler was treated and released, but Coffey was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor (Kyler was under the drinking age.) Ferrie brought Coffey to William Guy Banister for help in dealing with the charges. Coffey "almost had a nervous breakdown" over the incident.
On the evening of November 22, 1963, Ferrie and Alvin Roland Beauboeuf decided to take a vacation/business trip to Houston, and Coffey was invited along to help him chill out. When Ferrie returned to New Orleans in the face of Jack Martin's charges against him, he dropped Coffey off at home. FBI SA Ernest C. Wall Jr. interviewed Coffey at his home at 618 North Pierce Street on November 30.
By 1967, Coffey was employed by General Electric. He was interviewed by John Volz and James Alcock in connection with the Garrison probe on February 18 - four days before Ferrie was found dead.
After the Garrison investigation, Coffey did his best to avoid publicity or any connection with Ferrie or the JFK case.
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