Walter Monroe Coble was born Feb. 8, 1922, to Bertha Suttle Coble and James Adam Coble in Plant City, Fla., and died May 23, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.
He married Caroline Walker on Jan. 27, 1946, in San Antonio after he returned from his service during World War II.
His long military career began as an aviation cadet on Dec. 8, 1941. He completed training at Brooks Field in Texas and was commissioned a rated pilot on Jan. 14, 1943. He sustained serious injuries bailing out of a P-39 in November 1943 and returned to duty in April 1944. He volunteered for the 157th Air Commando Squadron of the 3rd Air Commando Group in June 1944. He landed in New Guinea and later participated in an invasion on Luzon. He was promoted to operations officer and later to commanding officer of his unit, evacuating wounded, inserting and recovering guerillas and dropping supplies to forward troops. Walter participated in the occupation as caretaker of a Japanese aircraft factory at Showa, Japan. He returned to San Antonio on Dec. 25, 1945, and was appointed to the regular Army in 1946. He went on to have a distinguished career in the Air Force, retiring as a colonel with more than 30 years’ service. After commanding flying squadrons, he finished his career as a professor of aerospace studies at the formerly named East Texas State University.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1972, he had a second career as a municipal judge in Commerce for 18 years. He and wife Caroline moved to Olympia, Wash., in 1997 to be closer to family.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Caroline Coble; a son, Ross Coble (Dinah); daughter Cynthia Coble (Rick LaValla); four grandchildren, Adam Coble, Virginia McFadin, and Patrick and Scott LaValla.
His family is united in love and appreciation of his life and service to his country.
A family service with military honors will be held at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent,Wash.
Memorial donations may be made to the Commerce Public Library.
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Published on  May 31, 2012