Retired May 1, 1971.
Brigadier General James U. Cross is commander of the 75th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas.
General Cross was born in Andalusia, Ala., in 1925. He attended local schools in the Andalusia area and graduated from Pleasant Home High School. He began his military career by enlisting in the U.S. Army for pilot training and was commissioned a second lieutenant, Army Air Corps, in November 1944.
During World War II in November 1944, he went to the China-Burma-India Theater where he was a transport pilot flying "the Hump." He was relieved from active military duty in April 1946 and became a member of the Air Force Reserve.
He attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University), Ala., for two years until he was recalled to active duty in October 1948 to serve at Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines. Subsequently he has served in Tactical Air Command, the Northeast Air Command, Military Air Transport Service, and Military Airlift Command.
His next assignment was to Headquarters Eighteenth Air Force, Donaldson Air Force Base, S.C., where he served successively as flying safety officer, inspector, and then pilot with the 63rd Troop Carrier Wing. In February 1956 he went to Goose Bay Air Base, Newfoundland, as operations officer with the 6606th Air Base Group.
General Cross was a pilot with the 40th Air Transport Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Del., from February 1957 to September 1958. He next went to Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., where he served as a pilot for VIP aircraft.
In July 1961 he was selected to serve as pilot and military aide to the vice president of the United States and in February 1962 as pilot of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. He was appointed as Armed Forces Aide and personal pilot to the president of the United States on July 15, 1965.
In July 1968 he was assigned to Twelfth Air Force at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, where he completed RF-4C aircraft training prior to a short tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam. In February 1969 he returned to Bergstrom Air Force Base as commander of the 75th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with oak leaf cluster, and Presidential Service Badge. He has more than 10,000 flying hours in various military aircraft.
His hometown is Andalusia, Ala.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of brigadier general effective Feb. 1, 1969, with date of rank Jan. 31, 1969.