Military Bios

Major General James L. Gardner Jr.:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired Dec. 1, 1983.  
Major General James L. Gardner Jr. is chief of staff, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
General Gardner was born in 1929, in Memphis, Tenn. He graduated from Wynne High School in Wynne, Ark., and then attended the University of Arkansas. He later received a bachelor of science degree in economics from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He is a graduate of the Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va.; and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
He received a commission in the U.S. Air Force through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program and entered pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., in June 1951. Following graduation he was assigned as a C-82 troop carrier aircraft pilot at Donaldson Air Force Base, S.C.
In May 1953 General Gardner went to Kimpo Air Base, South Korea, to be assistant base operations officer for the 4th Air Base Group. He returned to the United States in May 1954 and was assigned to Sewart Air Force Base, Tenn., where he flew C-119s and C- 130s. In July 1959 he transferred to Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany, as an aircraft commander with the 7406th Support Squadron. He returned to Sewart Air Force Base in July 1962 to serve as flying safety officer with the 839th Air Division and 314th Tactical Airlift Wing.
From January to July 1966, he attended the Armed Forces Staff College. His post-graduation assignment was to the 504th Tactical Air Support Group at Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, where he flew 0-1 "Bird Dogs" as a forward air controller.
The general transferred to Fort Bragg, N.C., in July 1967 to serve as air liaison officer with the XVIII Airborne Corps. In November 1968 he went to Washington, D.C., for an assignment with the Air Staff in the Office of Vietnamization. After this Pentagon tour of duty, he was assigned as deputy commander for operations for the 437th Military Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.
In August 1974 General Gardner moved to 21st Air Force, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., where he served as deputy chief of staff for operations until April 1975, when he become vice commander of the 436th Military Airlift Wing, Dover Air Force Base, Del. In May 1976 he returned to McGuire Air Force Base to command the 438th Military Airlift Wing. In March 1978 General Gardner become vice commander of 22nd Air Force at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. He served as commander of 22nd Air Force for more than three months while at Travis. General Gardner became inspector general, Headquarters Military Airlift Command in June 1979. He assumed his present duties in July 1980.
He is a command pilot with more than 7,000 hours flying time. General Gardner's military decorations and awards include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster and Army Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to major general June 1, 1981, with date of rank Sept. 1, 1977.


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