Retired March 1, 1973. Died April 17, 1987.
Brigadier General James D. Kemp is director, Defense General Supply Center, Defense Supply Agency at Richmond, Va.
General Kemp was born in 1918, at Spring Ranch, Neb. Shortly thereafter, his parents moved to Ronan, Mont., where he received his early education. He attended the University of Washington at Seattle before entering the Army Air Corps in 1939 as an aviation cadet. He attended flying training at Randolph and Kelly fields in Texas and received his pilot wings and commission as second lieutenant in August 1940.
The next three years he was with the Air Training Command at various training fields. In September 1943 during World War II, General Kemp was assigned to Central America. As commander of B-17 and B-24 squadrons of the Sixth Air Force at Guatemala City, Guatemala, and in the Canal Zone, he flew coastal and antisubmarine patrols throughout a three-year tour of duty.
He returned to the United States in March 1946 and attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Shortly after completing this military school assignment, he returned to the University of Washington in September 1946 where he obtained a bachelor of arts degree in geography.
In January 1948 General Kemp was assigned as chief of tactical inspections for the Air Defense Command at Mitchel Field, N.Y., for two years. In February 1950 he entered Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
General Kemp was sent to Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif., and was assigned to Fourth Air Force as chief of the Operations Division and became deputy for operations.
During the Korean War, General Kemp was sent to Korea where he served from September 1951 to January 1952 as chief, Office of the Air Inspector, Fifth Air Force, then as deputy commander, 452d Bombardment Wing, and later as commander of the 452d and 17th Bombardment groups, successively. He flew 61 night combat missions over North Korea. During this period, his organization won the Distinguished Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. In July 1952 he became deputy inspector general for the Far East Air Forces in Tokyo, Japan.
In October 1952 he returned to the United States and was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, as deputy chief and then chief of the Personnel Requirements Division in the Directorate of Military Personnel. In August 1957 he was selected to attend the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
General Kemp was assigned in July 1958 to the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Spangdahlem, Germany, as deputy commander and became commander. In April 1960 the wing was transferred to Alconbury, England. During his command the 10th Wing received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.
General Kemp went to Headquarters Tactical Air Command in August 1962 as director of operations and in January 1963 became director of fighter reconnaissance. In December 1964 he was moved to George Air Force Base, Calif., as commander of the 831st Air Division, TAC.
In February 1966 he returned to Washington, D.C., for assignment with the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as chief, Joint War Games Agency. In March 1968 he was transferred to San Antonio Air Materiel Area, San Antonio, Texas.
In December 1968 General Kemp returned to Korea to serve as assistant chief of staff, J-3, United Nations Command/U.S. Forces Korea, and director, United States/Republic of Korea Operational Planning Staff at Seoul.
In July 1970 General Kemp was assigned to Richmond, Va., as commander, Defense General Supply Center, Defense Supply Agency.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. He is a command pilot with more than 6,000 hours piloting military aircraft. He has flown more than 45 types of aircraft including BT-8, A-18, and B-10 aircraft of pre-World War II, to the Air Force's present Mach F-4C tactical fighters, and has commanded light, medium, and heavy bombardment units as well as tactical reconnaissance and fighter units.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 20, 1965, with date of rank Aug. 13, 1965.