Ex-Head of State: 1966 – 1969
26 October 1926 – 17 April 1967
Education & Career Pattern
Alakple Roman Catholic School, Angloga Senior School, Trained as a Cathechist
1941: Teacher, Alakple Catholic School
1942: Started training as a Goldsmith
1947: Qualified as a Goldsmith but abandoned craft for Financial reasons
1947(July): Enlisted as a Private in the Infantry, School, Teshie of the Gold Coast Regiment
1948: Promoted Sergeant
1951: Company Sergeant Major
1952: Among West Afiicans selected for course in Eaton Hall, England
1954: Commissioned Lieutenant and seconded to British army on the Rhine
1955: Returned to Gold Coast and made Platoon Commander of Second Gold Coast Regiment of Infantry
1958: Appointed Second-in-Command of Platoon
1959: Platoon Commander with the rank of Captain and later Major
1960: Attended Company Commander’s copurse at School of Infantry in Westminster, England
1960: Among Second Battalion of Ghana Army sent to Congo where he commanded D Company of the battalion that guarded the Radio Station in the capital, Leopoldvdle (Kinshasa)
1961: Promoted Major and later Lt.-Colonel
1963: Awarded Ghana Service Order for Exceptional Bravery for Distinguished Service in the Congo.
1965: Kotoka was transferred to Kumasi and befriended Major Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa, Commander of the First Infantry Brigade.
1966(24 February): Plotted and staged coup under code name “Operaflon Cold Chop”. There was heavy fighting but Afrifa was able to secure Broadcasting House and Kotoka announced the success of the coup at about 0630 hours on that day. Kotoka promoted Major General, he was member of the ruling National Liberation Council and Commissioner in charge of Health as well as General Officer Commanding the Ghana Armed Force.
1967(17 April): A counter coup, although unsuccessful, led to the killing of Kotoka by Lt. Moses Yeboah after heavy fighting. Ghana International Airport was renamed Kotoka International Airport in his memory.