Retired Oct. 1, 1980.
Major General James Eugene McInerney Jr., is director of programs, Deputy Chief of Staff Programs and Analysis, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
General McInerney was born in Springfield, Mass., in 1930, and graduated from Georgia Military Academy. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1947 and served as a parachute infantryman until June 1948 when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He graduated in June 1952 and then attended primary, basic and advanced flying schools.
In December 1953 General McInerney was assigned to Air Defense Command as a fighter-interceptor pilot and later was transferred to Korea as a flight commander in the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. In September 1954 he was transferred to the 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Itazuke Air Base, Japan, as squadron maintenance officer and later as operations officer.
General McInerney returned to the United States in October 1955 and was assigned to the 1738th Ferrying Squadron, Military Air Transport Service, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. In March 1958 he was assigned to the Chief Pilot Division, Headquarters MATS, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. In August 1958 General McInerney entered Princeton University under the Air Force Institute of Technology program and graduated in 1960 with a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering. In June 1960 he was assigned to the Research and Development Section, U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
In January 1964 General McInerney became a student at the Royal Air Force Staff College, Bracknell, England. He was transferred to the U.S. Air Forces in Europe in January 1965, and served with the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing at Bitburg Air Base, Germany. When the wing was designated to become the first USAFE wing to be equipped with the F-4D, General McInerney was assigned as chief, F-4 Conversion Office, responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing the changeover from the F-105 aircraft.
In March 1967 he was assigned to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as commander of the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron and later became commander of the 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron. During this period, he commanded the F-105D and F-105F unit which conducted "Wild Weasel" surface-to-air missile destruction, "Ryan Raider" night-penetration missions and deep-strike interdiction sorties against the most heavily defended targets in North Vietnam. For his actions in that role, he was awarded the Air Force Association "Citation of Honor" for outstanding combat leadership in developing new tactics for the conduct of the air war in Southeast Asia. He completed 101 combat missions over North Vietnam.
In November 1967 General McInerney joined Headquarters Pacific Air Forces as staff officer in the Operations Plans Division. In August 1969 he entered the National War College, Washington, D.C. While attending the National War College, he obtained his master of science degree in international relations from The George Washington University.
In August 1970 he was assigned as chairman of the Department of Defense Air Munitions Requirements and Development Committee in the Pentagon. In this position, he directed a joint service effort to achieve standardization of air munitions under the guidance of the director of defense research and engineering. In July 1971 he became chief of the Development Plans and Analysis Group in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
General McInerney returned to Germany in October 1971, as commander of the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing at Zweibrucken Air Base. When the mission of the wing changed in January 1973, he became commander of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. In July 1973 he was named chief of the Air Force Section, Joint U.S. Military Mission for Aid to Turkey, at Ankara, Turkey.
Upon completion of his tour of duty in Turkey, General McInerney became director of military assistance and sales, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in August 1975. He was commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Lesley J. McNair before assuming his current duty in January 1979.
He is a command pilot with more than 5,400 flying hours in T-33, T-38, F-80, F-84, F-86, F-94, F-100, F-102, F-104, F-105, F-106, F-4, F-5, F-15, Hunter, Lightning and Mirage aircraft. He wears the Parachutist Badge. His military decorations and awards include the Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with six oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation, Medal, Presidential Unit Citation emblem, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with "V" device and two oak leaf clusters, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm and with star, and the Republic of Korea Cheonsu Medal.
He was promoted to the grade of major general Feb. 6, 1976, with date of rank June 22, 1973.