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First Name: James

Last Name: Ferguson

Birthplace: Izmir, TUR

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Date of Birth: 15 August 1913

Date of Death: 13 July 2000

Rank: General

Years Served: 1934-1970
James Ferguson

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


James Ferguson

General, U.S. Air Force

James Ferguson was born in Izmir, Turkey, of British parents, on 15 August 1913. He attended elementary school in Scotland and later settled with his family in Whittier, CA. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen on 28 March 1930; graduated from a local high school in 1931, and from Fullerton Junior College in California, in 1934.

Military Career

He enlisted in the Air Corps in October 1934, began his flying training a year later and completed it in July 1936. He flew as a flying cadet for one year before being commissioned a Second Lieutenant in June 1937.

Ferguson was assigned in March 1940 to Hamilton Field, CA, as Commanding Officer of the 79th Pursuit Squadron. In April 1942, he became Executive Officer of the 20th Pursuit Group at Charlotte, NC, and from July 1942 to October 1943, served as Commanding Officer of the 337th Fighter Group.

In October 1943, Ferguson organized and Commanded the 405th Fighter-Bomber Group at Waterboro, SC; he took it to Europe four months later. He participated with the 405th Group in pre-invasion attacks on Europe until his assignment in April 1944 as Assistant Chief of Staff with the 9th Fighter Command. He participated as an air controller on the night of the Normandy invasion and served in various campaigns until the German surrender.

In December 1945 he returned to the U.S. He later became an Instructor in the Tactical Air Section of the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL.

Ferguson was assigned in November 1947 to the U.S. Air Force Advisory Group in Ankara, Turkey, and later became Chief of that group. He departed for the Far East in June 1950, where he served as Assistant to the Vice Commander and later, Assistant Deputy for Operations for the U.S. Far East Air Forces. From June 1951 to February 1952, he was Vice Commander of the Fifth Air Force in Korea.

He returned to the U.S. and served as Deputy Commander of the Ninth Air Force of the Tactical Air Command at Pope Air Force Base, NC, and later at Shaw Air Force Base, SC.

In July 1955, Ferguson began a series of assignments which kept him in the vicinity of Washington, DC, for more than 14 years. First, he became Deputy and later, Director of Requirements in the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. Then he was named Vice Commander of the Air Research and Development Command (later Air Force Systems Command) with headquarters at Andrews Air Force Base, MD.

In December 1961, Ferguson became Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development at Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In that position he monitored the total research and development effort in the Air Force.

On 30 July 1966, Ferguson was promoted to the four-star rank of General and, in September, he assumed Command of the Air Force Systems Command.

General Ferguson retired from the Air Force on 1 September 1970.

Medals and Awards

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)

Legion of Merit (3 Awards)

Distinguished Flying Cross

Bronze Star Medal (2 Awards)

Air Medal (2 Awards)

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Croix de Guerre with Palm (France)

Croix de Guerre (Luxembourg)

Military Merit Ulchi Medal with Gold Star (Korea)

He was rated as a Command Pilot.

Death and Burial

General James Ferguson died on 13 July 2000. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 11 Site 648-1.

Honoree ID: 717   Created by: MHOH




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