James Chapman Coleman, Jr. – Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

James Chapman Coleman Jr., 95, a retired Army Colonel who also was a projects supply manager with the U.S. Agency for International Development and a civil defense official in Alexandria, Virginia, died February 11, 2004, at Inova Alexandria Hospital. He had colon cancer.

After a long career in the Army Quartermaster Corps and a few years with USAID, Colonel Coleman became the city of Alexandria's deputy director of civil defense in 1974.

At the time, the office primarily managed Alexandria's bomb shelters by maintaining its stockpiles of food and medicine in case of a nuclear attack or other emergency. Colonel Coleman was promoted to coordinator of the office a few years later as a reorganization shifted the focus of the program to an all-hazard planning effort.

He handled the day-to-day business of the emergency preparedness program until his retirement in 1991 at age 81.

Colonel Coleman, a native of O'Bannon, Kentucky, graduated from the University of Kentucky and received a master of business administration degree from New York University.

He joined the Army Reserve in 1939 and was called to active duty with the Quartermaster Corps in 1941. During World War II, he operated a port supplying Allied forces in Tunisia before serving in Italy and France.

Colonel Coleman twice served in Japan, first with the occupation forces after World War II and then as a logistics officer with a military advisory group in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

He retired from active military duty in 1963 while stationed at Fort Belvoir as an instructor at the U.S. Army Management School.

He next worked for USAID as a supply manager for an irrigation project on the Helmand River in Afghanistan and for the construction of an electrical power plant in Ulsan, South Korea.

He also advised the Saudi Arabia Ordnance Corps on supply logistics as a contractor for Bendix Corp. in the early 1970s.

His first wife, Martha Ham Morris Coleman, died in 1996 after 57 years of marriage.

Survivors include his wife of six years, Mary K. Coleman of Alexandria; a stepson, Robert J. Morris of Oregon; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Beloved husband of Mary K. Coleman, died peacefully on February 11, 2004, at the Alexandria Hospital. He is survived by his former wife, Martha; son, James Morris of Oregon. Services will be held on Wednesday, April 7, 2004, at Heritage Presbyterian Church, 8503 Ft. Hunt Rd., Alexandria, VA 22308. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Heritage Presbyterian Church. Burial at Arlington National Cemetery at 3 p.m.


  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 11/01/1940 – 11/01/1963
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 09/10/1908
  • DATE OF DEATH: 02/11/2004
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/07/2004

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