Retired Aug. 1, 1969. Died Sep. 1, 1979.
Major General James C. McGehee is commander of Keesler Technical Training Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.
General McGehee was born in Birmingham, Ala., in 1910. He attended Howard College in Alabama and later transferred to the University of Alabama where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1931. He entered aviation cadet training and graduated from flying school at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1935, and received his commission as a second lieutenant in March 1936.
He was assigned to the Third Attack Group at Barksdale Field, La., From 1938 until 1940 he was assigned as a flying instructor in both primary and basic phases of training at Randolph Field, Texas.
When the Southeast Training Command was formed, he served as assistant flight commander at Maxwell and Gunter fields, Ala. He next was assigned as commander of the Georgia Aero Tech School at Augusta. Later he became director of training at Marianna, Fla.
After a brief assignment with the 327th Fighter Group at Richmond, Va., he served as operations officer for the 303rd Fighter Wing at Norfolk, Va. In March 1944 he became executive officer and accompanied the 303rd Wing to the European Theater of Operations where he served until the conclusion of World War II.
In November 1944 he became commander of the 373rd Fighter Group which was tabbed "McGehee's Killers" by the press. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and earned the Presidential Unit Citation.
Returning to the United States after World War II, he was assigned in 1946 as assistant air attache to Brazil and arrived in Rio de Janeiro. After graduating from the Air War College in 1950, he served as executive of the Estimates Division of the Directorate of Intelligence, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
In May 1951 General McGehee was given the responsibility of reactivating Bryan Air Force Base, Texas. In June 1955 he was given the responsibility for all undergraduate pilot training in the Air Force as deputy chief of staff, operations for Flying Training Air Force.
In 1956 he assumed command of Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. As commander of Nellis, he had the responsibility for training Air Force pilots in the use of Tactical Air Command supersonic aircraft and weapon systems.
In 1959 General McGehee was transferred to Saudi Arabia and assumed command of the Second Air Division. In addition, he was chief of the U.S. Military Training Mission. He returned to the United States in 1961 for assignment as commander, 1001st Air Base Wing, Headquarters Command, U.S. Air Force.
In July 1962 he was assigned as director of personnel training and education, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In this capacity he was responsible for the establishment of plans, policies and staff supervision of all formal professional, flying, technical and aircrew training, and education of Air Force military personnel, Air Force Reserve and other personnel attached to the Air Force for training.
In July 1965 he was assigned as chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group, Rome, Italy.
In August 1967, General McGehee was assigned as commander of Keesler Technical Training Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.
General McGehee is a command pilot with a total flying time exceeding 7,000 hours. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters and Army Commendation Medal.