Retired Sep. 1, 1979. Died Jan. 14, 2005.
Major General James A. Young is chief of staff, Combined Military Planning Staff, Central Treaty Organization, with headquarters at Ankara, Turkey.
General Young was born in 1926, in Marion, Conn. He graduated from Newton High School, Newton, Mass., in 1944. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army and in 1945 was selected for Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant, infantry, in January 1946.
He next served in Korea with the 7th Infantry Division. In February 1948 he returned to the United States, completed parachute training, and was assigned to the 82d Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, N.C. While assigned to the 82d Airborne Division, he made 41 jumps and qualified as a senior parachutist.
In July 1950, during the Korean War, General Young transferred to the U.S. Air Force and entered pilot training at James Connally Air Force Base, Texas. After pilot training, he again went to Korea and served with the 18th Fighter Group. He completed 34 combat missions in P-51s prior to March 21, 1952, when, while flying a P-51 on a maintenance test flight in Korea, he encountered uncontrollable flight conditions and crashed while attempting a landing. As a result of injuries received, he required 40 months hospitalization which included 58 major operations.
In June 1955 General Young returned to active duty, and in January 1956 to flying status as an F-100 pilot with the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, S.C. He was transferred to Chaumont, France, in October 1957 and assigned to the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing which later moved to Lakenheath, England.
He returned to the United States in 1961 and served as a staff officer in the Directorate of Operational Plans at Tactical Air Command Headquarters, Langley Air Force Base, Va. In January 1965 he became director of operations for the 833d Air Division at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
General Young was assigned in October 1965 as operations officer for the 333d Tactical Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., and flew F-105s. In December 1965 the squadron was transferred to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, and in January 1966 he assumed command of the 333d Squadron. While at Takhli, he flew 100 combat missions over North Vietnam. In Apri1 1966 he led the first raid on the Thai Nguyen railroad yards and was one of the leaders on the first strike made against the Hanoi petroleum, oil and lubricant complexes.
In July 1966 he returned to the United States and to McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., where he served as commander of the 562d Tactical Fighter Squadron. Later he became assistant director, operations, 23d Tactical Fighter Wing. In June 1969 he graduated from the Air War College.
He then was assigned to Pacific Air Forces Headquarters, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, as director of operations plans. General Young returned to Southeast Asia in March 1971 and became commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. He completed his second Southeast Asia tour of duty with an additional 105 combat missions in F-4 aircraft.
General Young relinquished his command in March 1972 and was assigned to Pacific Air Forces headquarters as assistant deputy chief of staff for plans in April 1972. He joined the Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii in October 1972 as deputy assistant chief of staff for operations.
In March 1974 General Young assumed command of the 25th North American Air Defense Command/Continental Air Defense Command Region, with headquarters at McChord Air Force Base, Washington. He had additional duty as commander of the Aerospace Defense Command's NORAD component, the 25th Air Division.
General Young was appointed deputy director of the Defense Mapping Agency, Washington, D.C., in August 1976. He assumed his present position in September 1977.
His military decorations and awards include the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, and Presidential Unit Citation.
He was promoted to the grade of major general Sept. 1, 1974, with date of rank May 1, 1972.