Coulter, Frank, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
9421-Commanding Officer, Naval Shore Activity
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1967-1969, 9587, Navy Recruiting Area 1, Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)
Service Years
1939 - 1969

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Coulter, Frank, CAPT USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Baltimore, MD
Last Address
Severna Park, Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Date of Passing
Jun 21, 2011
Location of Interment
U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery - Annapolis, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: 37-2-C

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30 Recruiting Command of Excellence

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Dragon Diesel Boats Forever Officer

 Military Association Memberships
Submarine Veterans of WW II
  1950, Submarine Veterans of WW II

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Frank J. Coulter, USN (Ret.)

Ensign Coulter's first assignment was on the battleship USS Pennsylvania and he later served as an Engineer aboard the destroyer-minesweeper USS Perry. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, he was serving aboard the destroyer USS Alden in waters off the Philippines and Indonesia. While on the Alden, Coulter was promoted to Lieutenant and served as Engineering Officer. In February 1942, the Alden participated in the seven-hour Battle of the Java Sea, where the Japanese Imperial Navy sank five Allied ships and defeated the Allied fleet. Luckily for Coulter, the Aiden was one of the few ships that survived the Battle.

In late 1942, Coulter's request to join the submarine service was granted and he was assigned to the Navy Submarine School in New London, CT. Upon graduation, he joined the crew of the submarine USS Skipjack in the Pacific Theatre during five War Patrols. During his 42 months aboard the Skipjack, he served as Torpedo and Gunnery Officer and later, as Executive Officer. In March 1944, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and assumed command of the Skipjack, a position he held for 20 months.

The Skipjack was decommissioned and became a target ship as part of the Operation Crossroads atom bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946. Skipjack survived the first atomic explosion, which was 500 feet above the boat. The second blast was detonated underwater and sunk the Skipjack and seven other vessels. Coulter and others in his crew were allowed to observe the sinking.

Coulter later commanded the submarine USS Bugara before he was assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was a Battalion Officer and Leadership Instructor.

During his naval career, he served as commanding officer of two submarines and four surface ships. He was also Commanding Officer of the U.S. Naval Advisory Group in Korea, where he served from 1963-65. Captain Coulter retired from active duty in 1969, following a tour as Director of Navy Recruiting in New York and New England. Over his 30-year career, he served either abroad, or aboard ship, for nearly 15 years.
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Submarine War Patrols
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Personal Memories

Five War Patrol, USS Skipjack SS-184, 1943-1945.

Captain Coulter graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1939, and by the end of World War II he was serving as skipper of a submarine in the Pacific. He was aboard the destroyer USS Alden off the Philippines when Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor, Manila, and Malaya in December 1941. He stayed aboard the Alden for its action with an allied fleet in the Battle of the Java Sea in March 1942, transferring later that year to the Submarine School and an assignment to the submarine USS Skipjack, which operated in the Pacific theater. Serving on the Skipjack for 42 months, he assumed command in December 1944 and stayed aboard until it was decommissioned as part of the Operation Crossroads atom bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946, where he was an eyewitness to one of the explosions. Over the course of his career, he was commanding officer of two submarines and four surface ships, as well as the U.S. Naval Advisory Group in Korea, where he served from 1963 to 1965. He retired in 1969, following a tour as director of Navy recruiting in New York and New England. During his 30-year career, he served abroad or aboard ship for nearly 15 years. His awards and designations included the Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medals, both with the V designation for Valor, and insignias for the Submarine Warfare Qualification (Dolphins), Submarine Combat Patrol, and Command-at-Sea.

My Photos From This Battle or Operation
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  292 Also There at This Battle:
  • Azer, John, CAPT, (1928-1948)
  • Bernard, Lawrence, RADM, (1937-1971)
  • Betty, Charles, PO2, (1941-1945)
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