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Major General Louis E. Coira

Memorial for Major General Louis E. Coira

Born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania on Apr. 25, 1916
Died Oct. 11, 2009 and resided in San Antonio, TX.
Visitation: Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009
Rosary: Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009
Mass: Friday, Oct. 16, 2009
Funeral Home: Porter Loring Mortuary
Cemetery: Holy Cross Mausoleum
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Major General Louis E. Coira died peacefully at home surrounded by his family, Sunday, October 11, 2009. He was ninety-three years old and was born in Bloomsburg, PA, April 25, 1916.

He graduated from Lock Haven High School, PA, in 1933, and from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1938. Lou first came to San Antonio for Army Air Corps flight training at Randolph Field and received his pilot wings at Kelly Field, TX, 1939, and served as an instructor there until April 1941.

At the outbreak of World War II, he commanded a squadron of B-17 bombers sent to create an airstrip at Salinas, Ecuador, and to protect the Panama Canal Zone. There he met Ellen Holst, his loving wife of 64 years. Later he became commander of the 40th Bomb Group, the 1st B-29 unit overseas during WWII and flew the hump over the Himalayas from India to China in order to fly missions over Japan.

From 1947 to May 1958, Lou Coira was stationed in New York, Alabama, Randolph AFB, TX, McConnell AFB, KS and Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, as base commander, Commander of 5039th Air Base Wing and also Commander of the 10th Air Division, and served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of the Alaskan Air Command. Lou served twice at the Pentagon, being assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, and in 1959, as a Deputy Director, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

In 1962 Lou was reassigned to Kelly AFB, TX, as Deputy Commander of the Air Force Security Service becoming Commander in 1965. In 1969 he was assigned as Vice Commander of the 5th Air Force at Fuchu Air Station, Japan. He retired on July 1, 1971, and became a Vice President of Alamo National Bank from September 1971 to July 1979.

Lou is preceded in death by his wife, Ellen, and grandson, Ted Dinwoodie.

He is survived by his daughter, Christine Dinwoodie (Peter) three sons, Peter (Rebecca), Paul (Charlene) and Mark (Maria) Coira; six grandchildren, Anne-Marie (Tim), Alec, Elizabeth (Dan), Jeannie, Stephen, and Lauren.

He was a life-long hunter, expert bird dog trainer, and founding member of St. John Neumann Catholic Church (6680 Crestway Dr, San Antonio).

The family requests any memorial contributions to be mailed to St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Montana 59004; email address:

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