NOTAM 01-2014 (Coleman)

Coleman Golden Eagle NOTAM
Rear Admiral Joseph L. Coleman, USN (Ret)
Golden Eagle Emeritus

Dear Golden Eagles,

It is my sad duty to report that RADM Joseph L. Coleman, USN (Ret), 91, made his Last Take-Off on Wednesday, 14 January 2014 at St Vincent’s Medical Center in Jacksonville, FL. He is survived by his wife, Margie, his daughters, Carol Lee Jackson and Sherrie Lynn Millichap, by his son, Joseph L. Jr, by seven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, 19 January at 1300 at the Hardage Giddens Funeral Home, 4115 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL. A reception will follow at the Timiquana Country Club in Jacksonville.

RADM Coleman, a native of Atlanta, Georgia was born on 10 September 1922. He entered the Navy through the NAVCAD Program in August 1942 and received his wings in December 1943. After carrier qualification in the F6F aboard the USS Sable (IX-81) operating in the Great Lakes, he deployed to the Pacific with VF-40 embarked on the USS Suwannee (CVE-27).  During combat operations near Iwo Jima, he was credited with the destruction of two Japanese aircraft. Following the war he served on USS Midway (CV-41) as the Fighter Direction Officer in CIC before attending George Washington University from which he graduated in 1951. Orders to VF-32 followed where he transitioned to jets and flew the F2H Banshee and the F9F Cougar. Various shore assignments followed until he received orders to the USS Hornet (CVS-12) where he served a tour of duty as the Air Operations Officer. He then completed the course of study at the Naval War College in 1962, screened for command, and reported to VA-15 as CO flying the AD-6 and then the A-4. An assignment as CO, VA-122 followed immediately where he served from 1963 to 1965. After a highly successful tour as Program Director for the OV-10 program where he guided that program from concept to first flight, he was selected for his deep draft and assumed command of the USS Mispillion (AD-105) in 1967. Command of the USS Ranger (CVA-61) followed where he successfully led the ship and air wing during combat operations against North Vietnam. He was promoted to flag in 1972 and was assigned as Commandant, 4th Naval District and Commander, Naval Base Philadelphia before retiring in 1975.

Following retirement he returned to Jacksonville, FL and served as a Board Member and Chairman of the Jacksonville Electric Authority, was a Board member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, and was a founder and former president of the Fleet Landing Retirement Community. He was an active member of numerous other civic and professional organizations through which RADM Coleman had a remarkably positive impact on the citizens of that region and their quality of life. To the people of Jacksonville RADM Coleman was an iconic figure and was always the center of attraction at every public event. The entire community knew him as a great leader and friend.

Combat veteran, dedicated civic leader, and exceptional Naval Aviator are a few of the terms that can be used to describe RADM Joe Coleman. To the Golden Eagles he was a comrade-in-arms whose loss impacts us all. Another member of the Greatest Generation has made his Last Take-Off.

He will be missed.

In sadness,

Fred Lewis-Pilot