James F. Cooper, MD
James F. Cooper, MD

  Hello! Buenas Dias! Howdy! and welcome to JamesFCooper.com, the personal website of the good doctor James F. Cooper, MD.

Dr. Cooper is a Senior Aviation Medical Examiner who has been providing flight physicals and general medicine services in Bryan / College Station, TX and the greater Brazos Valley for over 50 years. On these pages you can find information pertaining to Dr. Cooper's medical practice in Bryan, Tx, as well as a blog and various personal pages containing updates, photos, and articles regarding the interests, friends, and family of 'El Medico'.

About Dr. James F. Cooper

James as a baby James Franklin Cooper was born in 1927 in Farmerville, Louisiana. He was the 6th child of Clara Isabella Brown and Oliver Columbus Cooper, a baptist preacher and watch repairman. The Cooper children, Tommy (deceased very early in life), Miriam, Louise, Tootsie, O.C., James, and Bryan lived together with their parents in various places in the south. His father's profession as a preacher had the family moving often, wherever a church needed a preacher. Some of these towns included Farmerville, LA, Lake City, AK, Bruce, MS, Greenfield, TN, and Cairo, IL.

James's younger years were spent at a number of diverse jobs including soda jerk for a local pharmacy, and brakeman for the Illinois Central Railroad in Cairo, IL.

James in Navy UniformWhen World War II finally hit American soil in Pearl Harbour, James left his home in Greenfield and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. It was May 1945, and James was just 17 years old, but his mother and father signed a waiver to allow him to enlist, and he shipped off to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Training wasn't all war games though; James was a part of the Blue Jacket Choir, and even made a movie with the Navy during this time.

By June of 1945, he was on active duty. James was en route to San Francisco when the U.S. dropped the first A-bomb. By the time he arrived in San Francisco, the fighting was over. Still, he shipped out for Japan in September of 1945, and went to Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and then Sasebo, Japan. In October of 1945, James happened to be on a ship around Okinawa, when the Pacific Typhoon "Louise" came roaring from the waters of the Pacific. The effects of the typhoon were devastating, destroying or grounding more than 200 U.S. ships. Fortunately, James survived.

From Okinawa, the Navy took James through Hiroshima and Nagasaki where he saw first hand the complete obliteration the Atom Bomb had leveled on Japan. Eventually, he ended up in Wakiyama, where he was transferred to the USS Dorchester (a converted LST), and was promoted from Fireman First Class, to Water Tender 3rd Class (Machinist's Mate). It was during this period of time that James earned the nickname "The Fresh Water King", as he was the man on board ship that literally held the key that would turn on the fresh water for parts of the ship.

From 1946 to 1948, James utilized the recently enacted "G.I. Bill" to attend Union University in Jackson, TN. He progressed at an accelerated pace, and began medical school at the University of Tennesee in March of 1949. Throughout his education, James remained in the Naval Reserve, and was soon promoted to Ensign. After Medical School, he interned at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

James in front of a Navy Destroyer Around this time, the Korean War was happening and now Dr. J.F. Cooper joined the Destroyer Fleet Atlantic as Medical Officer for Destroyer Squadron 20. This squadron patrolled the Atlantic and Caribbean on anti-submarine duty. In June of 1954 Dr. Cooper was promoted to Deputy Medical Officer for the Destroyer Fleet Atlantic, and was stationed aboard its flagship, the USS Yosemite. James remained part of the naval reserve until 1960, when he retired from the Navy as Lieutenant Commander Medical Corps. To this day Dr. James F. Cooper is a very active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In 1954, Dr. Cooper came off active duty and in 1955 set up a general medical practice in Bryan, TX. It was here he began to build a reputation as one of the finest Doctor's in Texas, in the days when a doctor would still do a housecall, and often times, without compensation. There were two Dr. Coopers in Bryan / College Station now, as James's brother O.C. also had a practice there.

Around 1960, Dr. Cooper's interest in aviation began to take off, and he even got involved with various NASA space launches. Dr. James was present at all manned Apollo launches, VII through XVII, and his knowledge on the subject even earned him work as a voice commentator for launches XII through XVII for TVW ch. 7 in Perth, Australia. He kept strong ties to NASA and to many of the astronauts involved on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. James maintains his interest in aviation and space travel to this day, participating in conferences about the future of medicine here, and in regards to space travel.

Aviation is not his only specialty, however, and in 1969, Dr. J.F. Cooper became Chief Medical Officer for Texas World Speedway outside of College Station, TX. He maintains this position to this day.

Dr. Cooper's Office at Coulter Airfield Today, Dr. Cooper still offers FAA Flight Physicals at Coulter Airfield in Bryan, TX. Having practiced medicine for so long, Dr. Cooper has acquired an enduring family of patients. As an FAA Senior Aviation Medical Examiner, he does flight physicals for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class private or commercial pilots. You can learn more about Dr. Cooper's work on the Medical Practice page.

Dr. Cooper has also been a very active proponent of the VFW in his area for a number of years. He has served as Commander of VFW post #4692 in Bryan, TX, and has even run for State Surgeon. J.F. soon learned that he felt politics was not for him, and does not bother with titles anymore. Still, he is one of the most active members of the local VFW, with the chapter benefitting from increased membership and more community activities when he has been involved.

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