Retired Sep. 1, 1978. Died May 23, 1981.
Brigadier General William R. Coleman is commander, Defense Property Disposal Service, Defense Logistics Agency, Battle Creek, Mich.
General Coleman was born in 1919 in Dallas, Texas. He received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Arizona in 1947, and a master's degree from the University of Southern California in 1967. He is also a graduate from the Air Command and Staff School.
General Coleman received a direct commission in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and, after completing navigator training in 1942, served for a year as a crew navigator with the 217th Royal Air Force Squadron in Ceylon, India.
In March 1943 General Coleman transferred to the U.S. Army Forces and joined the 7th Bombardment Group of the 10th Air Force in India. He returned to the United States in June 1944 and served at various air training bases as a navigator instructor. In October 1945 he was released from active duty and entered the University of Arizona.
General Coleman was recalled to active duty in April 1951, during the Korean War, and was assigned to the 2950th Depot Training Group at Norton Air Force Base, Calif., as an operations and training officer.
During 1952 he attended the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and completed B-26 combat crew training (navigator). General Coleman was an operations officer with Headquarters 5th Air Force in Korea from April 1953 to February 1954. He was then assigned to James Connally Air Force Base, Texas, and served successively as commander of the 3565th Observer Training Squadron and the 3565th Transportation Squadron.
After attending the Aircraft Maintenance Officer School at Chanute Air Force Base, Ill., from November 1957 to July 1958, General Coleman served with the 100th Bombardment Wing at Pease Air Force Base, N.H., in various maintenance capacities. In March 1962 he was transferred to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., where be held various staff and supervisory positions in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel.
General Coleman was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Lindsey Air Station, Germany, in July 1965 and served in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel. While in Germany, he completed work for his master's degree. In July 1968 he was transferred to Southeast Asia, where he served in the Republic of Vietnam with the 483d Tactical Airlift Wing at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base and with the 3d Tactical Fighter Wing at Bien Hoa Air Base.
From September 1969 to February 1972 General Coleman was assigned to the Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area (now Air Logistics Center) at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., where he served initially as chief of the Production Control Division in the Directorate of Maintenance and later as director of plans and programs.
In February 1972 General Coleman joined the Sacramento Air Materiel Area (now Air Logistics Center) staff at McClellan Air Force Base, Calif., as chief of Aircraft and Engines Division in the Directorate of Maintenance and in October 1972 was appointed director of maintenance.
In March 1974 General Coleman was named assistant deputy chief of staff, maintenance, for the Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and in February 1975 he became the deputy chief of staff, maintenance.
He assumed his present position as commander, Defense Property Disposal Service, DLA, Oct. 18, 1976.
He is a master navigator. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm.
General Coleman was promoted to the grade of brigadier general July 1, 1974, with date of rank June 25, 1974.