June 10, 2009
Mr. Duncan was born in Cairo on October 26, 1919 to the late John and Anna Connolly Duncan. A graduate of Cairo High School Class of 1937, he enlisted in the Air Force on April 14, 1942 and was commissioned an Aviation Cadet in the Air Corps on October 22, 1943 following completion of Bombadier School at Childress Air Base in Texas.
On May 12, 1944, he departed for Europe and arrived at Debach, England five days later as part of the 439rd Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force. On June 6, 1944, he flew in a B24 Bomber in support of the Allied Invasion of Normandy on D-Day.
On his third mission to bomb a German fighter base in Laon, France, his plane was struck by anti-aircraft fire and he was forced to bail out in German-occupied territory. He was injured in the action, captured by a unit of the German Army and taken prisoner.
Over the next 11 months, he was held in three different prisoner of war camps. On April 29, 1945, his camp was liberated by General Patton's Third Army. Mr. Duncan continued to serve his country on active duty until September 20, 1945 and in the Air Force Reserves until 1958 when he retired as a First Lieutenant.
For his distinquished service, he was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, European African Middle East Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Award, NYS Conspicuous Service Cross, and in 2004 was honored as Greene County's " Veteran of the Year ".
An active member of the community, Mr. Duncan was a member of the American Legion Post 110, member and Commander of the Northeast Chapter American Prisoner of War Association and had recently returned to England where he reunited with his fellow servicemen. He also served as Village of Catskill Trustee, as a member of the Village of Catskill Planning Board, and as a Catskill Little League coach.
Mr. Duncan is survived by his two sons: John Duncan of Queensbury and Coleman Duncan, Jr. of Burlington, CT; three grandchildren: Jessica Duncan, Coleman Duncan III, and Shirra Duncan; his sister, Daphne Burley of Athens; two nieces and a nephew. He was predeceased by his brother Robert W. Duncan in 2008.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, June 15 at 11 a.m. in the Millspaugh Camerato Funeral Home at 139 Jefferson Heights in Catskill. Interment will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery. Friends and relatives are invited to call at the funeral home on Sunday, Flag Day, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Electronic condolences may be posted at www.millspaughcamerato.com
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