LCol Paul Corcoran, CD (Ret'd)
We regret to advise that LCol Paul Corcoran (Ret'd) died on 6 November 2007.
Born in Valleyfield Quebec in 1928, Paul received his primary and secondary education and initial work experience in Valleyfield and Ottawa. He started his 37-year military career when he joined the Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE) as a Sapper in Montreal in 1947. Paul was initially posted to 23rd Field Company at Camp Chilliwack, BC in for his basic training. Having some experience operating civilian heavy equipment, he passed a trade test that qualified him for an Assistant Instructor position and was posted to the Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering ( RCSME ) in early 1948 where he taught Operation & Maintenance of heavy equipment.
Paul was then posted to Fort Churchill, MB in 1949 as an Operator, Special Engineer Equipment. Completion of this tour saw a posting to Victoria BC (1950 - 1956) during which time he changed his trade from Equipment Operator to Foreman of Works and was promoted to Sergeant. He was then posted to Fredericton NB (1956 - 1962) for employment at Camp Gagetown during its initial construction. The new camp was in an advanced state of construction but none of the living quarters were completed. Paul was initially employed inspecting buildings for takeover from the contractors and later, as a Staff Sergeant, in the Works Company. In 1962 he was posted to Camp Wainwright, AB and promoted to Warrant Officer Class II (Master Warrant Officer). Paul was the Senior Foreman of Works in the Engineer Detachment until 1965 when he was posted to Egypt.
On his return from Egypt in 1966 Paul was commissioned as a Specialist Officer (Lieutenant) in the RCE and posted to RCSME as the Administrative Officer. In 1967 he spent six months with the Armed Forces Centennial Tattoo asDdirector of Light & Sound. Paul returned to RCSME, was promoted to Captain and employed as team leader writing the new trade specification for the revised "unified" Canadian Military Engineer Trades. In 1971, shortly after completing the Junior Staff Course in Toronto, Captain Corcoran was posted to National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa for three years. Promoted to Major in 1974, he was posted to CFSME to command Trades Training Squadron. He held this position for four years and, in 1978, was appointed United Nations Force Engineer in Cyprus - a position he held for two years. Paul returned to Canada in 1980 to become Base Construction Engineering Officer in CFB Edmonton.
Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1981, Paul was posted to Ottawa as Deputy Director of Military Occupational Structures. He retired from the Regular Force in 1983 and moved to Clearbrook, BC. In 1986 Paul was Called-Out to serve as the Commanding Officer of the Regional Direction Centre (RDC) in Vancouver and provided liaison between DND and the Expo Corporation throughout that EXPO year. In 1995 he enrolled in a degree course at the local college. In June 2000 at seventy-two years of age, he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Adult Education at the University College of the Fraser Valley. Paul was a member of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) of Vancouver; a life member of the CFB Chilliwack Historical Society and a member of Branch #280 The Royal Canadian Legion and a strong supporter of the Military Engineer Association.