Thanks to the Colonel's son, Kenneth Cooper, for the following information:
Colonel William James Cooper, United States Marine Corps
26 January 1938 – 14 March 1996
Following two years of college at the University of Maryland, Colonel Cooper
entered the Naval service through the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in November 1958.
The Colonel received his Marine Corps commission and wings in August 1960 and in September he joined VMF-235 at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort for F-8 transition. In November of that year he was transferred to VMF-333 and served with the Shamrocks for the next 14 months.
At the beginning of 1962, Colonel Cooper was transferred to MACS-5 at Beaufort and subsequently deployed to Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan with that squadron in 1963.
Following that overseas tour, he returned to MARTD Willow Grove, Pennsylvania,
where he flew the FJ-4B briefly prior to assisting the Detachment and two reserve fighter squadrons in their transition to the F-8.
In August 1966, Colonel Cooper attended the Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico, Virginia, before returning to Beaufort and VMF (AW)-235 at DaNang, flying 150 missions prior to deploying with that squadron to Iwakuni, Japan in 1968. In October 1968 he served a brief tour with MAG 15 following the Death Angels move to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. In December 1968 Colonel Cooper joined MAG 24 in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii as the Group Safety Officer followed by yet another tour with VMFA-235 in March 1970.
In July 1971 Colonel Cooper left Hawaii to attend Syracuse University under the College Degree Program and in August 1972, he returned to WestPac at RTAFB Nam Phong, Thailand where he served as the MAG-15 Logistics Officer and the Executive Officer of VMFA-115.
Following that tour, Colonel Cooper was assigned as the Aviation Readiness
and Safety Officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation at
HQMC. In August 1976 he attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, and then assumed command of MARTD Andrews in Washington, D.C. in January 1977.
One year later, Colonel Cooper was reassigned to Headquarters Marine Corps as the Senior Aide to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was once again assigned to MAG-15, in August 1979, serving as Group Executive Officer and briefly as Commanding Officer.
From August 1980 until June 1981, Colonel Cooper attended the National War
College in Washington, D.C.
Colonel Cooper assumed duties as the Commanding Officer of Marine Corps Air
Station Beaufort on 20 June 1981 and remained in that position until his reassignment in July 1983 to the National War College where he served on the staff as the Senior Marine. Colonel Cooper retired on 30 September 1985.
Colonel is at rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard