Retired Jan. 1, 1993. Died Feb. 14, 2001.
Lieutenant General James T. Callaghan is commander, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, and deputy commander in chief, U.S. Air Forces in Europe for the Southern Area, with headquarters in Naples, Italy.
General Callaghan was born in Chicago in 1938, where he graduated from Leo High School in 1955. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Detroit in 1959 and a master's degree from The George Washington University in 1971. The general completed the Naval War College Command and Staff Course in 1971, National War College in 1979 and the advanced management program at the University of Houston in 1980.
He was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program as a distinguished graduate and entered the Air Force in June 1959. He completed pilot training at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, in July 1960 and remained there as an instructor pilot until July 1963, when he was assigned to the 6th Fighter Squadron, 1st Air Commando Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. During this assignment he completed the Army's parachutist course at Fort Benning, Ga.
General Callaghan entered F-100 combat crew training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., in March 1966. He subsequently flew more than 425 combat missions in Southeast Asia in fighter and attack aircraft, as a forward air controller with the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade, and as chief of standardization and evaluation, 504th Tactical Air Support Group.
Upon returning to the United States in October 1967, he was assigned as an operations staff officer with the Tactical Fighter Division, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. Upon graduation from the Naval War College Command and Staff Course in July 1971, he returned to Air Force headquarters as an operations staff officer in Air Force studies and analysis. He was responsible for developing data on a wide range of systems such as the Minuteman III, B-1, F-15, F-16, A-10 and E-3A.
In June 1975 he completed F-4 combat crew training at Luke Air Force Base and was assigned as assistant deputy commander for operations of the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hahn Air Base, West Germany. General Callaghan then transferred to Ramstein Air Base, West Germany, in July 1976 and served as director of combat employment at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe until April 1977, when he became deputy commander for operations and subsequently commander of the 86th Tactical Fighter Group.
Upon graduation from the National War College in June 1979, General Callaghan was assigned to the Operations Directorate of the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., as chief of the Joint Operations Division. In June 1981 he became deputy director for regional plans and policy, and director of the Ground-Launched Cruise Missile Planning Group in the Directorate of Plans, Air Force headquarters.
From June 1983 to July 1986 General Callaghan was commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology and commandant of the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management, both located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He then became commander, U.S. Air Forces Korea, United Nations Command Air Component; and commander, 314th Air Division, with headquarters at Osan Air Base, South Korea. When the 314th was inactivated, he was assigned as chief of staff of the United Nations Command and of the Republic of Korea/U.S. Combined Forces Command, Seoul. The general assumed the duties of director, plans and policy, Headquarters U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, West Germany, in July 1988. He assumed his present command in December 1990.
The general, a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours, is qualified and current in the F-16 Fighting Falcon. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 16 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Army Commendation Medal. General Callaghan also wears the Parachutist Badge with bronze star. The bronze star was awarded for his combat jump in Vietnam in February 1967 while serving as air liaison officer to the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
He was promoted to lieutenant general Dec. 13, 1990, with same date of rank.