Robert Albert Coury
Colonel, United States Air Force
of His Son, Thomas R. Coury: October 2007
ROBERT A. COURY
Robert A. Coury, 84, a retired Air Force Colonel and aerospace executive, died 11 July 2007.
Born in Mitchell, South Dakota, Colonel Coury joined the U.S. Army Air Corps after high school in 1942 and rose through the ranks to become commander of Homestead Air Force Base, south of Miami.
A decorated pilot, he was a combat veteran of three wars and flew humanitarian missions in support of the Berlin airlift. During World War II, he piloted 28 B-17 missions with 8th Air Force and participated in the first six daylight bombing raids over Berlin.
In 1949, he flew C-54s in the Berlin Airlift.
During the Korean conflict, he was as an F-86 fighter pilot. Bailing out of his crippled aircraft following a bombing run on his 39th mission, he spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of North Korea.
In Vietnam, he flew 196 combat missions in F-100 and F-5 fighters and served as Deputy Commander for Operations at Bien Hoa Air Base.
Colonel Coury was a graduate of Armed Forces Staff College and Air War College.
His 45 awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal with eleven oak leaf clusters, the Prisoner of War Medal, and the Berlin Airlift Clasp.
Following his retirement from the Air Force in 1974, Colonel Coury was employed as Director of Flight Operations for Whittaker Corporation, serving as a Gulfstream II chief pilot leading an aeromedical evacuation team in Saudi Arabia.
An avid golfer, he fully retired to the Errol Estate golf community in Apopka, Florida in 1980, and summered in Ludington, Michigan.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, the former Edith Dotson of Mount Dora, Florida; a daughter, Constance Coury Watts of Falls Church, Virginia; and a son, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas R. Coury, USAF (Ret.) of Tampa, Florida.
Colonel Coury was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on 15 October 2007
As a Squadron Commander, circa 1950s
Posted: 27 October 2007