Retired Sep. 1, 1980.
Brigadier General James P. Albritton is deputy director for long-range planning, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Plans and Readiness, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Albritton was born in Jackson, Miss., in 1930, but calls Jacksonville, Fla., where he spent most of his youth, his hometown. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1952, receiving a bachelor of mechanical engineering degree and a commission through the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. He was subsequently assigned to the Air Force Institute of Technology, and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1953 with a master of science degree. General Albritton graduated from the Air Command and Staff College in 1965, concurrently earning a master of business administration degree from The George Washington University. He attended the advanced management program at Harvard Business School in 1972 and the program for senior managers in government at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 1978.
In September 1953 General Albritton was assigned to Headquarters Air Development Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as a research and development officer. He entered basic pilot training at Hondo Air Base, Texas, in December 1955 and graduated at Bryan Air Force Base, Texas, in December 1956. He next served as a mission pilot, flying T-33 aircraft at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., until August 1958. He then was transferred to Dhahran as an instructor pilot with the U.S. Air Force Training Group of the U.S. Military Mission to Saudi Arabia.
General Albritton returned to the United States in September 1959 and was assigned as a project engineer/coordinator at the Atomic Energy Commission's Aircraft Reactor Operations office in Cincinnati, working on the nuclear aircraft program until August 1961. His next assignment was with the Air Force Missile and Test Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., as a range development and support officer on the Titan, Polaris, Pershing and Skybolt missiles. During this time he was selected to be part of the cadre of the newly formed National Range Division of the Air Force Systems Command which consolidated the Air Force's Eastern and Western Test Ranges.
After training as a computer programmer for command and control systems, General Albritton moved to Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, in October 1966. He served there for two years as a division chief, managing computer programmers and systems analysts.
General Albritton received training in the F-4 as an aircraft commander at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., from August 1968 to March 1969. He then was assigned to the 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron of the famous 8th Tactical Fighter Wing at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, until March 1970. While serving as the squadron executive and operations officer, he flew 193 combat missions in Southeast Asia, including some during the early employment of laser-guided bombs.
He next had a series of Headquarters U.S. Air Force assignments under the assistant chief of staff for studies and analysis. He was a study director from April to July 1970 and then became chief, Tactical Support Division. In July 1972 he became chief of the Fighter Division. In February 1973 he moved to the position of deputy director, General Purpose and Airlift Studies, and later became the director.
General Albritton left the Pentagon in April 1974 to assume duties as commander, 50th Combat Support Group and base commander of Hahn Air Base, Germany. He was appointed vice wing commander of the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing in August 1974 and became the wing commander in March 1975.
He returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in June 1978 where he became special assistant to the assistant chief of staff, studies and analysis. In July 1978 he assumed the position of deputy director of concepts and analysis, Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Analysis. Simultaneous with this assignment, General Albritton formed and was chairman of a long-range planning study group, subsequently producing an analytical report dealing primarily with planning for the Air Force in the year 2000. In January 1979 he was selected for his present assignment as deputy director for long-range planning, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Plans and Readiness, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
A command pilot, General Albritton has more than 3,800 hours flying time. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. In May 1977 the Noncommissioned Officer Corps of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe awarded General Albritton the USAFE Order of the Sword. General Albritton was only the second person within USAFE ever to receive this honor.
General Albritton was promoted to the grade of brigadier general Feb. 2, 1978, with date of rank Jan. 26, 1978.