Vic Coroy was born on August 6, 1937 near Marcelin, SK. He completed his primary and secondary education in Saskatoon, SK.
He joined the army cadets in 1948 and moved to the reserve force in1952 as a gunner with the 21st Light Anti-Aircraft Battery (40mm, Bofors) which later converted to a 25 Pdr field artillery unit and then to a medium artillery battery of the 10th Medium Regiment (RCA). During his reserve service he rose through the ranks from gunner to sergeant and was commissioned as a Second-Lieutenant.
In 1956 he attended Le College Militaire Royale de Saint Jean in Saint Jean, QC. Following which he was commissioned in the regular force and posted to the 3rd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, (3RCHA). He served in J, G and H Batteries and RHQ while with the Regiment in Gagetown, NB and Hemer, Germany. During his tour in Germany from 1960-64 he was appointed as the Personal Assistant to the Commander 4CIBG. Returning to Canada, he served as the Troop Commander of D Troop, J Battery, 3RCHA in Winnipeg MB.
On promotion to the rank of Captain in 1965 he was selected for flying training as an artillery Air Observation Post Pilot. He graduated from primary flying training at RCAF Station Centralia, ON then the Army Aviation Tactical Training School (AATTS) at CJATC Rivers, MB. On completion of the light aircraft tactical course he was awarded the Canadian Army flying badge. He then proceeded to the helicopter conversion and tactical training course on the CH-112 Hiller Nomad, Basic Helicopter Training Unit (BHTU) at Rivers in early 1966. He was then sent on the Air OP Section Commander’s Course in CFB Shilo, MB to round out his tactical Air OP flight qualifications.
Vic’s first operational posting was to the Air OP Troop, 4RCHA in Petawawa where he flew light fixed wing Cessna L19 “Birddog” aircraft. During this tour he flew wheel and float equipped aircraft in summer and wheel and ski equipped aircraft in winter. As an Air OP pilot with 4RCHA and later 2RCHA he had the opportunity to control artillery fire on several Canadian artillery ranges including Petawawa, Shilo, Valcartier, and Gagetown. In 1969 as a qualified ground Forward Air Controller (FAC) he was tasked to complete the L19 tactical rocket trials in Cold Lake, AB. The trails were successfully completed after a series of rocket engagements with 762mm FFAR rockets. As the first Canadian airborne FAC he controlled several live air to ground attacks with 433 ETAC’s CF5 aircraft on the Petawawa ranges. He completed the C45 (Expeditor) multi-engine conversion and instrument flying training course in Portage La Prairie in1969. Over his flying career Vic logged 2000 hours of operational and recreational flying in Canada, USA and Germany.
While on operational flying duties he qualified as a Combat Team Commander (1970) and attended the Canadian Army Staff College, Kingston 1967-68.
On unification in the spring of 1971 he was posted to the newly formed 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, CFB Petawawa. On his promotion to the rank of Major he was posted to the faculty of the Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, BC as the Staff Officer Cadets and Military Training. During his tour he organized and managed the College Flying Club in association with the Victoria Flying Club.
In 1974 he was posted to CFB Shilo Manitoba where he commanded J Battery, 3RCHA in the AMF (L) role. He deployed with his L5 gun equipped Battery to northern Norway, Germany, UK, Denmark and USA. While in CFB Shilo, he convinced the Base Commander that the base needed a flying club which he formed and managed while serving as a Battery Commander.
After graduation from the NATO Defence College in Rome, Italy (Course 50, 1977) he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and posted as the Senior Canadian Liaison Officer with Headquarters 2nd German Korps in Ulm, Bavaria for three years. He received commendations from the Kommander, 2nd German Korps and the Kommander 10th Panzer Division for his work in promoting co-operation and inter-operability between the Canadian and German armies.
Upon returning to Canada in 1980, he served as the Senior Staff Officer (SSO) Operations at Army Headquarters in St. Hubert, QC and the Division SSO Operations for RV81. His next posting in 1982 was to National Defence Headquarters where he served as the senior staff officer on the land operations and training staff, and later as head of the Analysis Section with the Chief of Programs. His final appointment was the Director of Standardization, where he coordinated Canadian defence planning activities with military staffs in NATO, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Vic retired from the military in 1991 after a total of 39 years service followed by several years in the supplementary reserve. Shortly after retirement he was called back to conduct several studies for the VCDS and DCDS on defence intelligence and mobilization matters.
He held the appointment of Executive Director of the Conference of Defence Associations and the Defence Associations Institute 1993-98. He served as the Vice President of the Canadian NATO Defence College Association, a Director of the North Atlantic Council, a member of the Board of Governors, Commissionaires BC, President RUSI Vancouver and Vice President Air OP Pilots and the Ottawa Gunners associations. He received the Associate Minister of Defence’s recognition for the vision and drive he provided in launching the Honour House project located in New Westminster, BC.
LCol (Ret’d) Vic Coroy and his wife Patricia retired to Nepean ON where he continued to maintain his military affiliation by serving as the Chairman, of the Editorial Board for the Canadian Army Aviation Website, canadianarmyaviation.ca.
Vic took his last flight 2 Apr 20 at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital in Ottawa as a result of complications concerning COVID-19. He is without a doubt now in the big hangar in the sky reminiscing about “the good old days of Canadian Army Aviation” with all the Blue Wingers who have preceded him. “Cleared for take-off runway 27, straight out, unlimited altitude”.