Jesse L. Means
Chief Master Sergeant
U. S. A. F.
WWII Civilian
Dates of Service: 10/28/1960 - 10/27/1967
, 917th Airlift Group

He was born in Ida, Louisiana, as a twin with William Henry Means, to James Taylor and Delle Bonner Means. James ran a store in Ida and raised cattle. He died suddenly of a heart attack in 1924. Jesse finished Ida High School in May of 1932, and entered Louisiana Tech where he studied mechanical engineering for two years. He then worked with a local surveyor. In June of 1939 Jesse was flying an airplane from his home to El Dorado, Arkansas, when it crashed, fracturing seven of his vertebrae. "I lay there thirteen months not moving," he recalls of his convalescence. When America entered the war he tried to join the military but was turned down because of his injuries. In 1942 he began working in supplies at the post exchange (PX) at Barksdale Field. In 1943 he married Maude Taylor of Ida. They had two children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Jesse worked at the PX throughout the war, and then joined Civil Service in shipping and receiving supplies. With the help of State Senator Overton Brooks, he went on active duty in 1960 in the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Still stationed at Barksdale, he mainly worked in offices, but also traveled to building sites throughout the country. He remained in service for 20 years as part of the 917th Air Transport Group, and retired in 1980 as a chief master sergeant.