Retired. Died Nov. 15, 1983.
James Wrathall Spry was born in Grantsville, Utah, in 1900. He attended the University of Utah and enlisted in the Student Army Training Corps on Oct. 5, 1918. He later entered the U.S. Military Academy from which he graduated on June 13, 1922, and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Air Corps in the Regular Army.
Graduating from the advanced flying school at Kelly Field, Texas in January 1924, he was assigned to the 42nd School Squadron at Kelly Air Force Base. That August General Spry joined the Third Pursuit Squadron at Clark Field, Philippine Islands. In February 1927 he was transferred to the Third Attack Group at Fort Crockett, Texas. That summer he became a flying instructor at the primary flying school at Brooks Field and later became officer in charge of the post exchange there.
Transferred to Chanute Field, Ill., in September 1929, General Spry became a student in the Department of Photography at the Air Corps Technical School. Upon completing the course in July 1930, he was designated assistant director of the Department of Photography at the school.
Going to March Air Force Base, Calif., in August 1932, General Spry was assigned engineering officer of the 34th Pursuit Squadron. He subsequently became assistant post engineering officer at March Field and in February 1934 was appointed post engineering officer there. In August 1934 he was assigned to the Seventh Bombardment Group as engineering and supply officer. From July 1935 to August 1936 he served as commanding officer of the 69th Service Squadron at Hamilton Field, Calf., and also engineering officer and technical inspector of the Seventh Bombardment Group there.
Graduating from the Army Industrial College in June 1940, General Spry then served successively as acting inspector and acting adjutant general, assistant chief of staff for supply, and chief of staff of the Air Service Command at Wright-Patterson Field, Ohio.
Appointed commanding officer of the Miami, Fla., Air Depot in April 1943, the following August General Spray was assigned to the Second Staging Squadron headquarters at Miami Beach, Fla.
Going overseas on Nov. 20, 1953, General Spry was appointed chief of staff and later deputy commander of the Air Service Command at New Delhi, India. Named commanding general of the San Bernardino, Calif., Air Technical Service Command on April 20, 1945, that December he became military air attache to Mexico. He assumed command of the Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area, with station at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in October 1948.
The following April General Spry was designated deputy director of maintenance, supply and services in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel at Air Force headquarters, Washington, D.C. He assumed command of the Atlantic Division of the Military Air Transport Service at Westover Air Force Base, Mass., on March 1, 1950. After heading the military survey team to Spain from August to November 1951, General Spry resumed his position with MATS.
Joining the U.S. European Command in May 1953, General Spry was named director of materiel, and that October was appointed chief of staff, with headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, moving to Paris, France, on May 3, 1954. He was designated chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group to the United Kingdom, with station at London, England, on July 17, 1954.
Upon returning to the United States on Nov. 1, 1955, General Spry was appointed commander of the 3275th Military Training Wing, Air Training Command, with headquarters at Parks Air Force Base, Calif.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Air Medal. He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.