Retired Nov. 1, 1967. Died June 16, 1988.
Major General Don Coupland, auditor general, U.S. Air Force, Norton Air Force Base, Calif., commands a worldwide organization that is directly responsible to him for all audit functions within the Air Force. The auditor general develops all audit principles, policies, programs, systems, methods and procedures for the Air Force.
Born in Warsaw, Ind., in 1915, he attended Warsaw Public High School. In 1932, he went to Purdue University and received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1936. He was appointed a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery Reserve upon graduation and employed by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation as an aeronautical engineer.
On Feb. 14, 1937, he was appointed a cadet and upon completion of primary and advanced flying schools at Randolph and Kelly fields, Texas, was assigned as airplane commander and engineering officer of the 35th Pursuit Squadron at Langley Field, Va., where he served until November 1939.
His next assignment was procurement and production project officer for training and transport aircraft of the Army Air Corps Materiel Division at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio. He completed the Air Corps Engineering School at Wright Field in January 1942, and subsequently became chief of the Engine Section, Maintenance Division, at Wright Field.
While on this assignment, he actively participated in establishing the first jet engine overhaul facility in the United States. This facility was set up at San Bernardino Air Depot, Calif., for the overhaul of I-16 engines installed in the P-59, this country's first jet aircraft.
In July 1944, he transferred to Guam, where he served as officer-in-charge, Operational Engineering, Headquarters, Twentieth Air Force. Returning to the United States in November 1945, he was assigned as executive to the deputy commander engineering, Air Technical Services Command, Wright-Patterson Field, Ohio.
In August 1947, General Coupland graduated from the Air Force Institute of Technology with a degree in engineering sciences and became chief of the Production Planning Office, Directorate of Procurement and Industrial Planning at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
In 1951, he attended the Air War College, and upon completion in June of that year, was appointed director of materiel, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, and later deputy commander of the Air Materiel Forces, Europe.
Returning to the United States, in August 1954, he was assigned to Air Force Headquarters, Washington, D.C., where he served as assistant director and director for materiel programs, Deputy Chief of Staff/Materiel.
In July 1958, he was transferred to San Bernardino Air Materiel Area, where he became the first deputy commander for ballistic missiles. On Nov. 30, 1959, he was appointed deputy commander, San Bernardino Air Materiel Area, and on Feb. 1, 1960, was assigned as commander of the Ballistic Missiles Center, Air Materiel Command, Los Angeles, Calif. On April 1, 1961, he was named vice commander, Ballistic Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, also at Los Angeles.
In July 1961, General Coupland assumed command of the Ogden Air Materiel Area, Air Force Logistics Command, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He retained that command until Aug. 1, 1964, when he was appointed auditor general of the Air Force.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters and the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. He is rated a command pilot.