John Theron Coulter – Brigadier General, United States Air Force


Retired November 1, 1965, Died September 13, 1995

Brigadier General Theron Coulter was born in 1913 in Nettleton, Mississippi. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 1931 and transferred to the Air Corps in October 1933. In 1934, he enrolled in pilot training at Randolph Field, Texas, graduating from the Attack Section at Kelly Field in October 1935. He received his wings and second lieutenant's commission in the Air Force Reserve in 1936.

In October 1937 General Coulter was reassigned to Randolph as a primary flight instructor. In 1940 he was transferred to Ontario, California, as a primary flying supervisor at the Cal-Aero Academy. One year later he was assigned to the Mira Loma Academy at Oxnard, Calif., as detachment commander. Prior to World War II he joined the 46th Light Bombardment Group where he held the position of squadron commander, group operations officer, group executive, and acting group commander.

In 1942 he assumed command of the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Group at Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1943 he reported to the Office of Chief of the Air Corps in  Washington, D.C., in the Training Division under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. Later he became chief of the Individual Training Division. Following this
assignment he was appointed chief of staff for the Pacific Division of the Air Transport Commando serving in this position through the end of the war.

General Coulter attended the first class of the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Field in 1946. After graduation, he was assigned to the Reserve Training  Center at Long Beach, California, as deputy commander.

General Coulter joined the Berlin Airlift Task Force in December 1948, as group commander of the 60th Troop Carrier Group. Three weeks later he became wing commander of the 60th Troop Carrier Wing and commander of the Royal Air Force Station, at Fassberg, Germany. When the wing and base were deactivated after the
airlift, General Coulter was named assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, Headquarters, USAFE. He stayed at USAFE headquarters in Wiesbaden until June 1951 then attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Following his graduation from the War College he went to Washington, D.C. to a position in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations & Plans in the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project.

In October 1955, General Coulter joined the Air Defense Command as vice commander of the 85th Air Defense Division, then headquartered at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.

He was named commander of the 85th Air Division in July 1958. In September he moved to Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Missouri, as commander of the 20th Air Division.

He became deputy for personnel, Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, in July of 1959.

His next tour, In December 1961, was deputy commandant, NATO Defense College, Paris, France.

In August 1963 General Coulter returned to the Air Defense Command as commander of the New York Air Defense Sector at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey.

General Coulter holds the aeronautical rating of command pilot and has flown the T-33, F-86D and the F-102.

General Coulter and his wife, movie star Constance Bennett Coulter, are buried in Section 3, Grave 2231, Arlington National Cemetery.



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