Retired Nov. 1, 1973. Died June 26, 1998.
Major General James Spires Cheney is the judge advocate general, U.S. Air Force.
General Cheney was born in Tucson, Ariz., in 1918. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, Jacksonville, Fla., in 1938; Young L.G. Harris Junior College, Ga., in 1939; and attended Atlanta Law School during 1939-1940. He received his bachelor of laws degree from Atlanta Law School in 1950.
General Cheney began his military career as an aviation cadet at Kelly Field, Texas, in October 1941. In January 1942 he received his wings as a rated navigator and later served as an instructor in the Navigation School. From July 1942 to February 1943 he served with replacement training units at various bases as student and later instructor.
In March 1943 he joined the 306th Bombardment Group and later the 303rd Bombardment Group, Eighth Air Force, England, where he served as combat crew navigator, squadron navigator and group navigator, participating in combat operations until the end of World War II.
After a year of training and flying with the Air Transport Command, General Cheney returned to Europe in July 1946 where he commenced his military legal career as base legal officer with the 313th Troop Carrier Group in Austria. From January until September 1947 he served as deputy judge advocate with Headquarters European Air Transport Service, Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany. The following two years he served as base legal officer and wing legal officer with the 61st Troop Carrier Wing, Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany. The 61st Wing participated in the Berlin Airlift.
He returned to the United States in December 1949 to serve as staff judge advocate, Headquarters 314th Troop Carrier Wing, Sewart Air Force Base, Tenn., and later as base legal officer, 2589th Air Force Reserve Training Center, Dobbins Air Force Base, Ga.
During the Korean War General Cheney went to the Far East in July 1950, and flew on missions as navigator with the 3rd Bombardment Group for several months and then served as legal officer, 6133rd Tactical Support Wing, Iwakuni Air Base, Japan. In December 1950 he became assistant staff judge advocate, Fifth Air Force at Nagoya, Japan, and Taegu, Korea.
From July 1951 to June 1954 he served as deputy staff judge advocate, Headquarters Air Proving Ground Command, Eglin Air Force Base Fla. In June 1954 he was assigned to the Office of the Judge Advocate General, Washington, D.C., as a member of a board of review. He became board chairman in December 1956 and in June 1957 became the executive officer to the judge advocate general.
General Cheney transferred in July 1960 to the Third Air Force, England, where he served for two years as staff judge advocate. He went to Germany in July 1962 to serve as deputy staff judge advocate, U.S. Air Forces in Europe. In July 1964 he returned to the United States and was assigned to the Office of the Judge Advocate General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force as Director of Military Justice. In July 1967 General Cheney became staff judge advocate, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
In February 1969 General Cheney became the assistant judge advocate general, U.S. Air Force and in September 1969 he assumed duties as the judge advocate general.
General Cheney is admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, the Court of Military Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association and the Georgia Bar Association.
He is a rated aircraft observer and navigator credited with 2,500 flying hours and 57 combat missions. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon and Croix de Guerre with Gold Star from France.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of major general effective Sept. 30, 1969, with date of rank July 1, 1965, and to the permanent grade of major general effective Sept. 30, 1969.