Edward F. Corcoran

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  • "I am truly sorry I never got to meet COL Corcoran. All of..."
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    - LTC - US ARMY retired Stephen A. and Mrs. Linda J. Urban
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Colonel Edward F. Corcoran died Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

Born in Plains Township, he was a son of the late Francis Hugh and Vera F. Stamford Corcoran.

Col. Corcoran enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in Dec. 1943 and served in the Army Air Corps from 1944 to 1946 as an Engineering student at Duquesne University, Pa Military College and B-29 Aircraft Engineering School at Amarillo, Texas, followed by service in France and Germany in the Occupation Force. Discharged in 1946, Col. Corcoran returned to Army in 1949 and received a direct commission in the Corps of Engineers, thereafter transferring to Calvary and subsequently serving as platoon leader and company commander in Armor and Calvary units at Fort Knox (1949), Korea (1950) and Panama Canal Zone (1953-1956) From 1957 to 1959 he was the Assistant Secretary, United States Armor School. In 1959 he joined the 3rd Squadron, 14th Calvary in Germany and was subsequently assigned as Secretary General Staff of V Corps. In 1962, he returned to the United States where he attended the Command and General Staff College, Graduate School at the University of Pittsburgh and the U.S. Foreign Service Institute through 1965. He was then assigned to Office of Deputy Chief of Staff, Military Operations, Department of the Army, in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate and later became Executive Officer of the Strategic Plans Directorate. In 1967, he was assigned to the office of the Army Chief of Staff as Assistant Secretary of the General Staff. In 1968, he arrived at Fort Hood where he commanded the 2nd Battalion, 81st Armor (RED LIONS), 1st Armored Division. In 1969, Col. Corcoran served in the Republic of Vietnam as secretary general of U.S. Army, Vietnam and upon return in 1970, he entered the U.S. Army War College.

Upon graduation from the Army War College in 1971, he was once again assigned to the Army Staff, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, serving as assistant director. In July 1972, he returned to Fort Hood where he took command of the 1st (TIGER) Brigade, 2nd Armored Division. In August 1973, he was appointed Chief of Staff, 1st Calvary Division. In August 1974, Col. Corcoran was assigned as the Director of Experimentation and Test Directorate until July 1977 when he was appointed Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Training Center, Fort Jackson. He retired in July 1979 and was admitted as a doctoral candidate at the University of South Caroline, graduating in May 1986.

Col. Corcoran's decoration included the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star (Valor), Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnamese Honor Medal 1st Class, The Republic of Korea Presidential Citation and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Engineer School, U.S. Army Armor School, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, U.S. Foreign Service Institute, has a baccalaureate degree from Louisiana State University, master's degree in public administration and international affairs from University of Pittsburgh, graduate of the U.S. Army War College and has a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of South Carolina. From 1986 to 1989, he served as a defense research consultant to the president of the University of South Carolina, and during this same period as a guest lecturer in the School of Government and International Studies. He was a member of the Military Officers Association, the Summit Club and is a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus. Col. Corcoran was a member of St. John Neumann Roman Catholic Church.

Col. Corcoran is survived by his beloved wife, Marie; three daughters, Nora Lee, wife of Mr. Frank Albert Floyd III of Columbia, Md.; Mary Joan, wife of Mr. Albert J. Pianelli of Larksville; Anne Marie, wife of General Stanley Allen McChrystal of Washington, D.C.; three sons, Lt. Col. Michael Francis Corcoran (U.S. Army, Ret.) and wife Dona of Newport, R.I. and Beaufort, S.C.; Major Kevin Patrick Corcoran (U.S. Army Ret.) and wife, Kim of Beaufort, S.C.; Captain John Terrence Corcoran (U.S. Army Ret.) and wife, Frances (Captain USMC Reserve) of Franklin, Tenn. His grandchildren include Jan, Beth, Megan, Caitlin, Sam, Brennan, Sean, Andrew and Dylan; five great-grandchildren; Grafton, Finn, Campbell, Townes, Graydon and a sister, Frances Gutosky, Wilkes-Barre.

Full military honors will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 19 in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. Arrangement are by Corcoran Funeral Home, 20 S. Main St., Plains Township.


Funeral Home
Corcoran Funeral Home, Inc.
20 South Main Street
Plains, PA 18705
(570) 823-1358
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Published in Citizens' Voice on June 15, 2014
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