James S. Kendall
U. S. A. F.
Korean War
Director of Logistics/Pilot, Strategic Air Command

James was born in Wilmington, Delaware, as one of two children to Frederick Kendall and Sarah Pardee Kendall. When James was eight his father, who worked for Reading Railroad, was transferred to Pottstown, Pennsylvania as a freight agent, and by the 1940s was superintendent of yards and terminals for the Reading Railroad. Meanwhile, in 1940, his father purchased an 80-acre farm near Reading, Pennsylvania, where a man "shared out" the land and raised corn and oats. James worked on the farm in summer--loading hay, shocking wheat and cleaning stables. He recalls hunting pheasants and rabbits, fishing and trapping, and playing basketball in the barn. After D-Day his father volunteered for active duty to help oversee military trains in Europe. He received a commission as major and was flown to France as one of nine railroad executives. James recalls rationing during the war, and turning a flowerbed into a vegetable garden, but no other "hardships". He graduated from Ontelaune Vocational High School in Leesport, Pennsylvania in 1946. While attending a local college at night, he worked at Carl Spaatz Field at Reading Airport, where he gassed and parked airplanes, and learned how to fly. James enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in November of 1949 through the Aviation Cadet Program, completed pre-flight, and then took basic training at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio. In December of 1950 he completed advanced training at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, then returned to Randolph for B-29 training. He and his 10-member crew were sent to Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington as a reconnaissance squadron, then to Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa in fall of 1951 with the 379th Bombardment Wing. James flew 24 missions, each "about ten hours long" and all at night in the Korean War. No plane in his wing was lost, he recalls, in six months of service. "Compared to my flying in Vietnam, it was pretty peaceful," he remarks. Returning to the States in the spring of 1952 he was stationed with his crew at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana as part of the 301st Bombardment Wing. He enjoyed a 90-day temporary deployment to England, underwent B-47 training at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, and then completed Squadron Officers' School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. On May 29, 1954 he married Barbara Moffitt of Tampa, Kansas. (They would have five children and nine grandchildren.) At McConnell Air Force Base James attended AOV School for triple rating as bombardier, navigator and pilot, graduating in December of 1955. At Homestead Air Force Base in Florida, from 1955 to 1958, he was captain of a crew that was the youngest in age in Strategic Air Command. Later duty stations included Barksdale with the 1st Strategic Evaluation Squad, and with 10th RBS Squadron at Carswell Air Force Base near Fort Worth as assistant operations officer. James completed Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, then reported to Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska where he was assigned to SAC headquarters. "Another desk job," he calls the position. In 1966, at a small field in Holly Beach, Florida James transitioned as a forward air controller, in which he trained to fly over areas to ferret out the enemy and direct air strikes and artillery fire in Vietnam. By then a major, he was assigned to the 18th Armored Division, a Vietnamese unit, at Xuac Loc. Many of his missions, coordinated with the division, were search-and-destroy missions. James lived in a compound with American advisors on a French rubber plantation. He returned to the States in the fall of 1967. By then a lieutenant colonel, he was stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana as commander of 913th Squadron, a refueling unit for KC-135s. Promoted to colonel, he was sent to Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts as assistant deputy commander for maintenance. In that same position he was then stationed with the unit in Guam for six months in 1970. He served in the same capacity at Loring Air Force Base in Caribou Maine, then at Plattsburgh Air Force Base in New York. In July of 1975 he returned to Barksdale as director of logistics, then chief of staff for 8th Air Force. Upon retiring he remained in Shreveport. Always wanting to "work on cars", he took a mechanics courses and became service manager for a car dealership. He then began working with Harold Hollingshead in the oil business and other endeavors. He retired again in 2002. Barbara passed away that year. In 2004 James married Harriett Oursler, who has four children from a previous marriage.