Retired Sep. 1, 1960. Died Feb. 20, 1999.
James S. Cathroe was born in Omaha, Neb., in 1906. He graduated with honors from Technical High School in 1924 and entered Creighton University Dental School that same year. He was a member of the ROTC unit during his four years of college, and upon graduation, with honors, in 1928 was selected for an Army Dental Internship at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, Calif. After two years of active duty as a Reserve officer, he made application for the regular service. As a result of a competitive examination, which was held in various cities throughout the United States, he received the only regular appointment offered to fill the one existing vacancy at that time.
Shortly after receiving his regular commission, he was transferred to Fort Niagara for duty as dental surgeon for the fort.
In 1931, Captain Cathroe was ordered to Washington, D.C. where he pursued a four month course in advanced dentistry at Walter Reed Hospital. Following this, he completed a five month course at the Medical Field Service School in Carlisle, Pa.
From 1931 to 1935, he served at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, and from 1935 to 1938 at Fort Lewis, Wash.
In 1938, he joined the dental staff at the U.S. Military Academy and remained there until shortly before World War II when he was transferred to Camp Stewart, Ga. As camp dental surgeon, Major Cathroe supervised the opening of a 25-chair dental clinic and a second 15-chair clinic.
From February 1942 until February 1949, he was stationed at Maxwell Field, Ala. The first two years there, he served as chief of the dental services and the next three years, he was assigned to Headquarters Eastern Flying Training Command at Maxwell as command dental surgeon. When this headquarters was deactivated, Lieutenant Colonel Cathroe returned as chief of the dental service for another two year period.
In 1949, Colonel Cathroe became command dental surgeon of Caribbean Air Command. This position he held until 1952 when he was named base dental surgeon, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. During his tour in Panama, he transferred from the Army to the Air Force when a medical service was established for the Air Force.
The colonel, in 1954, became command dental surgeon of the Air Training Command and, in 1955, was promoted to brigadier general and named deputy assistant for dental services, Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Air Force.
General Cathroe was appointed assistant for dental services, Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Air Force, in February 1958.
Graduate Technical High School, Omaha, Neb., 1924
Graduate Creighton University Dental School, Omaha, Neb., 1928
Advanced dentistry course, Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, D.C., 1931
Graduate Medical Field Service School, Carlysle, Pa., 1932
Likes fishing and hunting.
Enjoys repairing small electrical appliances.
Member of the American Dental Assocation, Psi Omega Dental Fraternity and the Kappa Omicron national honorary dental society.
DECORATIONS AND MEDALS
American Defense Medal
World War II Victory Medal
American Theatre Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
OPINIONS, TASTES AND EVALUATIONS
Prefers Chinese and Italian cooking; wears predominately gray and brown in civilian dress.
Prefers a cool climate with little or no snow. Likes detective stories. Most reading time devoted to dental journals and periodicals.
Great believer in the motto "Discretion is the better part of valor." Favorite expression: "Always do the very best you are capable of doing under any circumstances." Philosophy of life: "Try not to worry about things over which you have no control."
Expects loyalty and sincerity from everyone and gives it in return. No sympathy for people who do not take pride in what they do.
"He expects a lot from you, but is most fair in return." Statement made by a junior officer.