Willis Prague Coleman – Colonel, United States Army

Willis Prague Coleman of Louisiana

Captain 9th United States Infantry, 29 June 1898
Honorably Mustered out 25 May 1899
Appointed Second Lieutenant, 9th United States Infantry, 1 July 1899
First Lieutenant, 26th United States Infantry, 2 February 1901
Transferred to the 9th United States Infantry, 22 May 1902

Born at New Orleans, Louisiana, 27 April 1876
Died at Tampa, Florida, 18 October 1932
Buried in Section 7 of Arlington National Cemetery

Buried with Colonel Coleman are, his wife Martha D. Wilson Coleman, born at Natchez, Mississippi, in 1877 and who died in Arkansas in 1924; his son Wilson Dudley Coleman, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army, born at Fort Logan H. Roots, 7 March 1911 and who died at St. Denis, 30 July 1944.

Coleman Barracks, formerly Fliegerhorst (flyer's nest) Kaserne, was built during 1938 as an airfield for both fighters and bombers. At the beginning of the war, the (Luftwaffe) fighter squadron “Pike-As,” commanded by Hans Moelder, was stationed here. Moelder was one of Germany's top air aces, having shot down over 300 planes, mostly Russian.

The naming of Coleman Barracks is exceptional in that it is the only Barracks in the Heidelberg area other than Patton to be named after an officer. Its name commemorates Lieutenant Colonel Wilson D. Coleman, who was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for single-handedly halting an enemy column.


TAMPA, Florida, October 18, 1932 – Colonel Willis P. Coleman, 56 years old, in charge of the 328th Infantry and organized reserves of Florida, died here today after a brief illness.  He was a native of Louisiana.

Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Martha Coleman; a daughter, Mrs. T. J. Johnson of Lexington, Kentucky; a son, Wilson, now at West Point, and another son, Willis P. Jr.

Burial will be in Arlington Cemetery in Washington.


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