New England Air Museum
Louis Edward Coira


Recent Address:

San Antonio, TX



Family Information:

Wife: Ellen; Children: Christine, Peter, Paul and Mark


Bloomsburg, PA

Date Entered Service:

June 14, 1938

Service Number:


Bomb Group:




Location of Unit:

Panama Canal

Missions Flown:


Hump Missions Flown:






Service Schools Attended:

West Point - 1938 graduate; Air Corps Flying Schools at Randolph and Kelly Fields, TX. He received his pilot wings in October 1939 and remained at Kelly as a flight in­structor until 1941

Military Specialty(ies):

Group Commander

Rank Upon Discharge:

Major General

Crew Type:


Airplane Serial No.& Name:


Were you a POW?


Were you interned?


Date Transferred from the 58th:


Date Discharged from the 58th:


Post-WWII Military Service:

He later served as a planning staff officer in the XX Bomber Command Headquarters and at Headquarters, Eighth Air Force, on Okinawa.

Following a brief period as direc­tor of training and operations at Stewart Field, NY, near West Point, Lou attended the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Field, AL. From 1947 to 1950, he was assigned to the Training Division of Headquarters, U.S. Air Force.

From August 1950 to April 1951, he par­ticipated in the establishment of the B-29 Combat Crew School at Randolph Air Force Base and, upon the introduction of B-47 air­craft into the Air Force inventory, was sent to Wichita, KS, to start a similar school for Strategic Air Command B-47 crews. He commanded the 3520th Flying Training Group and the 3520th Flying Training Wing at McConnell Air Force Base during this three-year assignment. Lou then was se­lected to attend the National War College.

During 1955—58, Lou was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base, AK, as com­mander of the 5039th Air Base Wing and of the 10th Air Division, and as deputy chief of staff for operations of the Alaskan Air Command.

Lou’s second tour of duty in the Pentagon began in mid 1958 with assignment to the Organization Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, and in September 1959 he as­sumed duties as deputy director, Manpower Requirements and Utilization, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Lou was reassigned to Kelly Air Force Base, TX, in mid-1962 as deputy com­mander of the U.S. Air Force Security Service (USAFSS) and became commander in October 1965. In later years he told his family that his time with USAFSS had been his favorite assignment. In 1969 he was as­signed as vice commander, Fifth Air Force, at Fuchu AFB, Japan. Lou retired from ac­tive Air Force duty on 1 Jun 1971 with the permanent rank of Major General.

Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):

He worked as vice president for military affairs at the Alamo National Bank during 1971—74.


General Coira passed away October 11, 2009 and was interred in Holy Cross Cemetery Mausoleum, San Antonio, TX.

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