Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Obituaries | PASSINGS

Peter Kok, 83; WWII Bombardier Inspired 'Catch-22'

June 28, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Peter Kok, a former member of the Michigan House of Representatives whose war experiences formed, in part, the basis for Joseph Heller's book "Catch-22," died Sunday in Grand Rapids. He was 83.

Kok served as a captain in the Army Air Forces during World War II. As a lead bombardier, he completed 67 bombing missions over Italy and southern France, earning a Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Purple Heart.

His unit, the 488th Bomb Squad of the 340th Bomb Group, was featured in "Catch-22," a 1961 novel by Heller.

Heller piloted one of the B-25 bombers under Kok's command. The 1968 movie based on the book depicted Kok's decision to refuse an order to bomb a village in northern Italy.

Kok returned to Grand Rapids after the war and established a real estate brokerage. A Republican, he served in the House from 1965-78. Afterward, he was appointed to head the Michigan Council on Aging.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday July 01, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
Peter Kok obituary -- An obituary of Peter Kok in Saturday's California section said the movie "Catch-22" was released in 1968. The film was actually released in 1970.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday July 03, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Kok obituary -- An obituary of Peter Kok that appeared in Saturday's California section identified Joseph Heller, who wrote "Catch-22," as a World War II pilot. He was a bombardier.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|