Edward C. James

Major Edward C. James, USAF (Ret.),died of complications of emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at Hospice of Dayton, OH, on 31 January 2009. He was 75 years old.


Ed was born in Santa Rosa, CA, and graduated from Alhambra High School in Martinez, CA. He attended Contra Costa Junior College for one year before receiving a congressional appointment to the Naval Academy.


Ed graduated with the Class of 1956 as a member of the 13th Company.

Upon graduation, Ed was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force and was trained as a guided missile maintenance officer at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, CO. He was retained at Lowry as an instructor in the Matador/Mace pilotless aircraft program, precursor to the unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs of  today. Ed attended the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH, where he received a master's degree in aeronautical engineering in 1961. He was designated as engineering and development officer and was also an intelligence officer specializing in foreign technology. As an engineering officer, he participated in the design of the F-16 aileron. After a tour at Andrews AFB in Washington, DC, on the Systems Command Staff, Ed was transferred back to Wright Patterson AFB, where he finished his career in the Foreign Technology Division.


Ed retired in 1977 and stayed in the Dayton area, settling in Kettering, OH. Ed was preceded in death by his wife, Phylis, who passed away in June 2007. He is survived by his mother, Josephine of Martinez, CA; sister, Kathleen Grimshaw of Martinez, CA; son, Edward Jr. of Martinez, CA; daughters, Dayna Wishart of Wallagrass,  ME, Jondalyn Brewer of Mars Hill, ME, Kathleen Seman of Beavercreek, OH, and Debra Wright of Beavercreek, OH; and seven grandchildren. Memorial services were conducted on 6 February 2009 in Beavercreek, OH, followed by interment in Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery. Dick Levendoski ’56