Retired Dec. 1, 1965. Died April 11, 2000.
Brigadier General James L. Riley was born in Atlanta, Ga., in 1911. He received degrees of bachelor of philosophy from Emory University in Atlanta in 1932, and bachelor of laws from the same institution in 1933. He was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1933. Ho continued his education at Harvard, attaining a master's degree in business administration there in 1935. Twenty-two years later, in 1957, he returned to Harvard and successfully completed a special course offered by the Graduate School of Business Administration.
His military career began in May 1941 when, anticipating that the United States would become actively involved in World War II, he enlisted in the Georgia National Guard as a private. In the same month he accepted an appointment as a second lieutenant in the Guard, and in August 1941, was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. In September 1941, he left the practice of law in Atlanta and entered active federal service with his organization, the 128th Observation Squadron, which was assigned to Lawson Field, located on Fort Benning, Ga.
In March 1942, he was transferred to DeRidder Field, La., for duty with the 322d Sub-Depot. In October of that year he was promoted to captain. He became the commander of the sub-depot and was promoted to major in October 1943. In August 1944, he was assigned as executive officer of DeRidder and in February 1945 assumed the office of commanding officer. In May 1945, he was assigned as chief, Policy and Procedures Section, International Branch, Air Force headquarters, Washington, D.C., and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in January 1946.
Upon the termination of his federal service in April 1946, he was assigned as chief of staff, 54th Fighter Wing, Georgia Air National Guard. He held this position until January 1949, gaining federal recognition as a colonel in October 1947. In January 1949, he received his promotion to brigadier general and became commanding general of the wing.
Prior to his recall to active duty, he was a member of the law firm of Dunaway, Riley and Howard and its predecessor firms, with an extensive practice in Atlanta and environs. He re-entered active federal service with his wing in November 1950 and has subsequently served on the Appeals Board at Continental Air Command Headquarters at Mitchel Air Force Base; as deputy director, supply and services, and chief, transportation and packaging, Headquarters Air Materiel Command at Dayton, Ohio; as deputy director, Secretary of the Air Force Personnel in the Pentagon; and as commander, Air Reserve Records Center, Denver, Colo.
On June 28, 1962, General Riley assumed command of the Fourth Air Force Reserve Region, with headquarters at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. This Region, one of six within the Continental Air Command, is responsible for the supervision of all Air Force Reserve training in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Among the Reserve units controlled by the region are two troop carrier wings, 12 Air Force Reserve recovery groups, and two hospitals. In addition to these, there are a number of small units with varied missions.
General Riley is a command pilot on flying status.