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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Coons, Merle M., 1921-1997


Biographical Note

Merle Milton Coons was born to Milo and Helen Coons on March 25, 1921 in Arlington, Oregon. He graduated from high school in Gresham, Oregon in 1939. Coons receieved an aviation cadet appointment for training with the United States Army Air Corps in March 1942. He joined the 38th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group based at Wormingform, England in 1944. Olson flew 67 combat missions in the Lockheed P-38 Lightning and North American P-51 Mustang, earning ace status by destroying five German fighters, plus one probable in aerial combat. Coons served with the United States Air Force for 26 years, retiring in April 1968 as a Colonel. His assignments were predominantly oriented to fighter aviation. Coons served at various locations, including Williams Air Force Base, Arizona and Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

After his retirement from the military, Coons joined Northrop Corporation's Marketing department. He remained there for 18 years, until his second retirement in 1986. He was active in many associations and causes and spent time with friends and family. Coons died December 18, 1997 in Salt Lake City, Utah, survived by his second wife, Lois Clark Coons; three daughters, Jan, Sue, and Joyce; and eight grandchildren.


Biography derived from donor information.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Merle M. Coons Fighter Ace Collection

Identifier: 2002-02-13-1284
Abstract Colonel Merle Coons (1921-1997) was a United States Air Force fighter pilot, earning ace status during World War II. The collection is a subset of the American Fighter Aces Collection and includes primarily textual materials, such as military orders and records, flight records and a log book, and a scrapbook, as well as a photograph album and a small amount of loose photographs.

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