Military Bios

Brigadier General Thomas P. Coleman:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired Sep. 1, 1972.   Died Sep. 5, 1995.
Brigadier General Thomas Philip Coleman is deputy director of information, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
General Coleman was born in 1918, in Middletown, Conn. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, Middletown, Conn., in June 1936, and from Arizona State University in 1942 with a bachelor of science degree in political science. In 1942 he began his military career as an enlisted member of the Army and later entered flying training as an aviation cadet. He graduated from flying school in August 1943 with a commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps and his pilot wings.
During the next three years, he had various assignments as a pilot and flying instructor at Fort Worth, Texas. In April 1946 he was released from active military duty and in July 1947 accepted a regular commission and returned to active duty with an assignment as assistant legal and claims officer for the 7th Bombardment Wing at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. In September 1948 he entered Air Intelligence School and upon completion served as intelligence officer for the next three years, first with the 42nd Bombardment Squadron, Carswell Air Force Base; then the 31st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron on Okinawa; and lastly the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron in Japan.
In July 1951 he returned to the United States and was assigned to the 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where he served as assistant training officer, survival equipment training officer and then assistant wing operations officer. He was assigned in February 1952 to the Fifteenth Air Force, March Air Force Base, Calif., as chief, Plans and Training Branch, and later served as chief, Programs Division.
General Coleman returned to Japan in September 1953, and served as intelligence representative for SAC XRAY, a liaison office with the Pacific Command. In February 1954 he returned to Fifteenth Air Force as chief, Collection Branch, and became deputy chief of staff, then administrative officer, Office of Chief of Staff. He was assigned to the 817th Air Division, Pease Air Force Base, N.H., in February 1956, as director of personnel and later served as commander of the 349th Bombardment Squadron and then commander of the 817th Air Base Group.
In July 1958 he became director of information for Eighth Air Force at Westover Air Force Base, Mass. In July 1961 General Coleman went to Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and was assigned to the Information Office, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, where he served as chief, Media and Liaison Division; deputy director and then director of information.
In February 1967 he entered the Advanced Management Program Course at Harvard University and upon completion was assigned as public affairs officer on the staff of the commander in chief, Pacific Command. He became deputy director of information, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, in July 1969.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 1, 1969, with date of rank June 30, 1969.


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