Retired July 31, 1964.
Marcus Fleming Cooper was born in 1909 in Columbus, Ga. He graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1927 and received his bachelor of science degree with a major in general sciences, from Georgia Tech., Atlanta, Ga., in 1931.
His original reserve commission in the Infantry was granted Dec. 27, 1930. On Sept. 15, 1931 he enlisted as an aviation cadet and upon completion of the Primary Flying School at Randolph Field, Texas, Oct. 14, 1932, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve. Today General Cooper is rated a command pilot with more than 10,000 hours of flying time.
Lieutenant Cooper's first assignment was to Barksdale Field, Shreveport, La. After one year and seven months on active duty he worked with United Air Lines, until October 1938. On Oct. 1, 1938 he received his regular commission as a second lieutenant and was assigned to the 19th Bomb Group at March Field, Calif.
He became a test pilot at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, in December 1939 and entered the Aircraft Engineering School there in June 1941. Following graduation in January of the same year he was assigned as long range project officer, Bombardment Branch, Engineering Division at Wright Field. Ten months later he was named project officer of the Fighter Branch, Engineering Division and became chief of the branch in June 1943.
In December 1944, he was assigned to the Eighth Air Force at Burtonwood and Bovington, England, as a special F-80 project officer. He returned to Wright Field in July 1945 as chief of the Aircraft Project Section in the Engineering Division.
The colonel transferred to Air Force Group Headquarters in September 1945 to become chief of the Guided Missiles Branch. He entered the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in August 1947 and graduated the following June. He was then named the deputy chief of staff for research and development of the Special Weapons Command at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
In August 1950 Colonel Cooper entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. and following graduation in July 1951, was designated chief of the Development Branch, Military Application Division at the Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, D.C.
At Air Force headquarters, in September 1953, the colonel was reassigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Development Planning, and in June 1954 became chief of the Office of Assistant for Development Planning.
On July 5, 1955, General Cooper was assigned as chief of the Air Force Section, U.S. Air Force Group, Joint American Military Mission for Aid to Turkey. He became commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center on July 1, 1957, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
On Feb. 20, 1959, he was assigned duty as assistant administrator, Office of Plans and Requirements, Federal Aviation Agency, Fort Myer, Arlington, Va.
He is a member of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences and the Air Force Association.
General Cooper's decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the American Campaign Medal, American Defense Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.