Ernest L. Coleman



Preferred Name: 
Ernie

Nickname/Call Sign: Urn

Date of Birth: December 28, 1937

Highest Military Grade Held: Colonel

Hometown:

Biography

As a child, Ernie Coleman watched movies about WWII fighter pilots and made up his mind about his future career.

Ernie served 22 years in the USAF, reaching the rank of Colonel in only 15 years. He flew close to 200 combat missions in Vietnam in both the F-100 and later the F-4 Phantom. He became Wing Commander of the F-111.

On October 8, 1982, while serving with the 391st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ernie was severely injured in ejection from a training flight in an F-111A, when he ejected (along with crew member 1st LT. Scott Springer) at low level, and 50 – 55 degrees nose high.  The attenuation bags failed and Springer received serious back injuries. Ernie was paralyzed from the waist down. 

Ernie has overcome obstacles throughout his life, always concentrating on what he can do and adapting to make his desires attainable. His courage has inspired two sons to Air Force careers.

Units Assigned

  • 1962 Luke AFB, AZ
  • 1962-1965 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron/401st Tactical Fighter Wing, England AFB, LA (F-100)
  • 1965-1966 10th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Hahn AB, Germany
  • 1982 Mt. Home AFB, ID (injured during a training flight) (F-111A)

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

F-100
F-111

Military Education

Civilian Education

Biography

Biography

As a child, Ernie Coleman watched movies about WWII fighter pilots and made up his mind about his future career.

Ernie served 22 years in the USAF, reaching the rank of Colonel in only 15 years. He flew close to 200 combat missions in Vietnam in both the F-100 and later the F-4 Phantom. He became Wing Commander of the F-111.

On October 8, 1982, while serving with the 391st Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ernie was severely injured in ejection from a training flight in an F-111A, when he ejected (along with crew member 1st LT. Scott Springer) at low level, and 50 – 55 degrees nose high.  The attenuation bags failed and Springer received serious back injuries. Ernie was paralyzed from the waist down. 

Ernie has overcome obstacles throughout his life, always concentrating on what he can do and adapting to make his desires attainable. His courage has inspired two sons to Air Force careers.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1962 Luke AFB, AZ
  • 1962-1965 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron/401st Tactical Fighter Wing, England AFB, LA (F-100)
  • 1965-1966 10th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Hahn AB, Germany
  • 1982 Mt. Home AFB, ID (injured during a training flight) (F-111A)

Awards & Decorations

Flight Info

F-100
F-111

Military Education

Civilian Education

Photos
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