Retired Nov. 30, 1992.
General James P. McCarthy is deputy commander in chief, European Command, Stuttgart, West Germany.
General McCarthy was born in 1935, in Canton, Ohio, where he graduated from Lincoln High School. He earned his bachelor of science degree from Kent State University in 1957 and a master of science degree in international affairs from The George Washington University in 1974. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1963, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1971 and the National War College in 1974.
The general was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1957. He completed pilot training at Graham Air Force Base, Fla., and Greenville Air Force Base, Miss., and was awarded pilot wings in June 1959. He then was assigned to the 301st Bombardment Wing, Lockbourne (now Rickenbacker) Air Force Base, Ohio, as a B-47 pilot.
In June 1964 he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., as an air officer commanding, with responsibility for advising and assisting a squadron of cadets in their training. While at the academy, General McCarthy established the cadet soaring program and served as its first officer in charge. In June 1967 he began F-4 Phantom fighter training and was assigned as a pilot and operations officer with the 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan. During his two years there, his squadron was deployed to Osan Air Base, South Korea, during several international incidents.
The general transferred to the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing at Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, in May 1970 as chief of the Operations Plans Division. In December 1970 he became commander of the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Da Nang. He flew 152 combat missions in the F-4E Phantom.
General McCarthy returned to the United States in June 1971 and was assigned to the Office of the Director of Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for basing Air Force units both overseas and in the United States. In August 1973 he entered the National War College and, after graduating in August 1974, became the vice commandant of cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Part of his responsibilities included directing the academy's preparation for the initial admission of women in July 1976. He transferred to the 97th Bombardment Wing, Blytheville (now Eaker) Air Force Base, Ark., in March 1977 as vice commander and became commander in September 1978. In March 1979 the general was named commander of the 93rd Bombardment Wing at Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
In May 1980 he returned to Air Force headquarters as special assistant for M-X matters, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition. He was responsible for the M-X program, and directed the program through most of its concept formulation phase. In October 1982 he became the director of legislative liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. In that position he advised the secretary and all principal civilian and military officials of the Department of the Air Force concerning legislative affairs and congressional relations.
In July 1984 he transferred to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., where he served as deputy chief of staff for plans, developing policies, programs and requirements for the command. The general assumed command of 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., in January 1987, and was responsible for SAC operations in the eastern half of the United States, Europe and the Middle East. He was next assigned as deputy chief of staff for programs and resources, Air Force headquarters, in March 1988, responsible for Air Force programming, manpower and foreign military sales. He assumed his present position in September 1989.
The general is a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours in 28 different aircraft. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device and five oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with six oak leaf clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Gold Palm, Republic of Vietnam Honor Medal first class and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was promoted to general Oct. 1, 1989, with same date of rank.