Retired Jan. 1, 1993. Died Aug. 5, 2000.
Major General James W. Meier is vice commander, 15th Air Force, March Air Force Base, Calif.
General Meier was born in 1940 in Cleveland, and graduated from Augusta Military Academy in 1958. He earned a bachelor of science degree in industrial management from Georgia Institute Technology in 1962 and a master's degree in business administration from Pepperdine University in 1974. The general completed Squadron Officer School in 1967, Armed Forces Staff College in 1975 and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1981.
In June 1962 General Meier was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. After graduating from pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., in August 1963, he received pilot wings. In January 1964 he completed B-52G combat crew training at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., and was assigned to the 28th Bombardment Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., as a B-52G copilot. While there, he served on the standardization and evaluation crew, then as aircraft commander, and later as instructor pilot. The general served as aide to the commander, 57th Air Division, Westover Air Force Base, Mass., from September 1968 until June 1969, when the 57th was inactivated. He then transferred to F-4 crew training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
In March 1970 General Meier was assigned to the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, as an F-4 pilot and flew 77 combat missions. In August 1970 he transferred to Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, as a command spokesman.
From March 1971 to January 1975 the general was assigned to the staff of the commander in chief, Pacific, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii. While there, he served as a war plans officer, air operations staff officer and command operations briefer. After completing the Armed Forces Staff College in June 1975, General Meier was assigned to the Organizational Policy Division, Plans Directorate (J-5), Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., as primary joint staff officer for joint doctrine and unified command plans.
General Meier returned to flying duties in July 1977 with the 524th Bombardment Squadron, Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Mich., as a B-52G aircraft commander and assumed command of the squadron in June 1978. He completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in June 1981 and was assigned as chief, Strategic Operations Division, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. In July 1982 the general became deputy assistant director for joint and National Security Council matters, Directorate of Plans, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations. He served as vice commander, 416th Bombardment Wing, Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y., from May 1983 to August 1984. He then became commander of the 92nd Bombardment Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. In January 1987 the general became assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He became deputy director for operations (National Military Command System), Operations Directorate, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., in July 1988. He assumed his present position in June 1991.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,400 flying hours in the B-52, F-4, T-29, KC-135, T-33, T-37 and T-38. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device and three oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal with service star, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Air Force Overseas Ribbon-Short, Air Force Overseas Ribbon-Long, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with six oak leaf clusters, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1990, with same date of rank.