Colonel James E. Anderson, USAF (Ret.), passed away on October 31, 2014 in Rapid City, North Dakota at the age of 89. The cause of death was double pneumonia. He is survived by his spouse, Joyce. No schedule for services is available at this time.
Col. Anderson was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and awarded pilot wings in November 1944 when he was 19 years old. He attended B-26 and B-17 transition schools before being sent to North Africa, where he joined a B-17 photo recon unit in Port Lautey.
After returning to the United States, he was stationed at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota as Aircraft Commander of a B-36 bomber crew and later a B-52 Crew Commander until 1959 when he became an Operations Staff Officer with the 821st Air Division. From June 1960 to June 1965, he was assigned to Headquarters, 15th Air Force at March AFB in California as Liaison Officer to the Federal Aviation Agency. During this assignment, he flew T-33 and T-39 aircraft.
In June 1965, he was assigned as Chief of Training for the 1129th Special Activities Squadron at Groom Lake, Nevada. In September 1966, he was promoted to Colonel and performed duties of Executive Officer and later as Director of Operations. At Groom Lake, he flew the F-101, A-12 trainer, and Cessna 210. In July 1968, Colonel Anderson transferred to Beale AFB, California where he served as Director of Operations.
In 1969 he became Wing Vice Commander. Approximately a third of his Beale tour was spent as Commander of the SR-71 detachment at Kadena, Okinawa. During his Beale tour of duty, he flew the SR 71 Blackbird and the T-38.
In January 1972, Colonel Anderson was assigned to SAC Headquarters as Deputy Inspector General of the Strategic Air Command. He remained in this position until he retired in May 1973. He was a Command Pilot and was awarded the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters.