James U. Cross
General James U. Cross
|Birth name||James Underwood Cross|
|Born||April 25, 1925|
Covington County, Alabama
|Died|| July 11, 2015 90) (aged|
|Years of service||1944-1971|
|Commands held||Pilot of Air Force One, Military aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson, Commander of the 75th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas|
James Underwood Cross (April 25, 1925 – July 11, 2015) was a United States Air Force brigadier general and author of Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride As Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant,with Denise Gamino and Gary Rice. He was a military aide and chief Air Force One pilot under United States president Lyndon B. Johnson.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947. It is the youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the fourth in order of precedence. The USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.
In the United States Armed Forces, brigadier general is a one-star general officer with the pay grade of O-7 in the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. The rank of brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed services. The NATO equivalent is OF-6.
Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign for a United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. In common parlance the term describes those U.S. Air Force aircraft designed, built, and used to transport the president. The presidential aircraft is a prominent symbol of the American presidency and its power.
Cross was born in Andalusia, Alabama on April 25, 1925, to James Kenison Cross and Susie Jesse Wells Cross.He attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) for two years before being recalled to active duty in the U.S. Air Force. His wife, Marie Campbell Cross of Austin, Texas died in February 2010 and is buried in Pleasant Home, Alabama, near Andalusia. They had four children together; one child, June Rainwater, died in 2001. Cross died on July 11, 2015 in Gatesville, Texas. Cross will be buried in Alabama next to his wife.
Andalusia is a city in and the county seat of Covington County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 9,015.
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital, and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2017 estimate, Austin had a population of 950,715 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,115,827 as of July 1, 2017. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.
General Cross was trained as a pilot by the U.S. Army and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forcesin November, 1944. Cross began his military career flying transport aircraft in World War II. After joining the Air Force Reserve in 1946, he was recalled to active duty in 1948 and served at military bases flying transport aircraft in the Philippines, South Carolina, Newfoundland, and Delaware. Cross was sent to Bolling Air Force Base in Washington D.C. in 1958, where he served as pilot for VIP aircraft. In 1961, he was appointed military aide and pilot to Vice President Lyndon Johnson. Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, Johnson requested that Cross become qualified to fly the Boeing 707, the 707 being the airframe on which the USAF VC-137 presidential aircraft is based. He served as a co-pilot for one year and then served as Armed Forces Aide and pilot to President Lyndon Johnson from 1965 to 1968.
The United States Army Air Forces, informally known as the Air Force,or United States Army Air Force, was the aerial warfare service component of the United States Army during and immediately after World War II (1939/41–1945), successor to the previous United States Army Air Corps and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force of today, one of the five uniformed military services. The AAF was a component of the United States Army, which in 1942 was divided functionally by executive order into three autonomous forces: the Army Ground Forces, the Services of Supply, and the Army Air Forces. Each of these forces had a commanding general who reported directly to the Army Chief of Staff.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.
In August 2010, Cross arranged for one of the C-140 Lockheed JetStar planes formerly used to transport President Johnson from the White House to his Texas ranch to be loaned from the National Museum of the United States Air Force, refinished and relocated to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in honor of what would have been Johnson's 102nd birthday.
The Lockheed JetStar is a business jet produced from the early 1960s to the 1970s. The JetStar was the first dedicated business jet to enter service. It was also one of the largest aircraft in the class for many years, seating ten plus two crew. It is distinguishable from other small jets by its four engines, mounted on the rear of the fuselage, and the "slipper"-style fuel tanks fixed to the wings.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the official museum of the United States Air Force located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 6 miles (9.7 km) northeast of Dayton, Ohio. The NMUSAF is the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world, with more than 360 aircraft and missiles on display. The museum draws about 1 million visitors each year, making it one of the most frequently visited tourist attractions in Ohio.
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park in central Texas about 50 miles (80 km) west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. The park protects the birthplace, home, ranch, and final resting place of Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States. During Johnson's administration, the LBJ Ranch was known as the "Texas White House" because the President spent approximately 20% of his time in office there.
On February 23, 1962, Cross flew Vice President Lyndon Johnson, then-Chairman of the National Space Council, to Grand Turk Island, where Lieutenant Colonel John Glenn Jr., USMC had splashed down in Friendship 7 after completing the Project Mercury space expedition. Colonel Glenn joined Cross in the cockpit on the flight back to Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.
The National Space Council is a body within the Executive Office of the President of the United States that was created in 1989 during the administration of George H.W. Bush, disbanded in 1993, and re-established in June 2017 by President Donald Trump. It is a modified version of the earlier National Aeronautics and Space Council (1958–1973).
Grand Turk Island is an island in the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is the largest island in the Turks Islands with 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi). Grand Turk contains the territory's capital, Cockburn Town and the JAGS McCartney International Airport. The island is the administrative, historic, cultural and financial center of the territory, and has the second largest population of the islands at approximately 3,720 people.
John Herschel Glenn Jr. was a United States Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, businessman, and politician. He was the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times in 1962. Following his retirement from NASA, he served from 1974 to 1999 as a Democratic United States Senator from Ohio.
General Cross' military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross (United States), Air Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, and the Presidential Service Badge.
The Legion of Merit (LOM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The decoration is issued to members of the seven uniformed services of the United States as well as to military and political figures of foreign governments.
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a military decoration awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes himself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918."
The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award is one of the unit awards of the United States Air Force. It was established in 1954 and was the first independent Air Force decoration created. The Air Force Longevity Service Award would follow in 1957 with most of the standard Air Force awards established in the early to mid 1960s.
Bergstrom Air Force Base (1942–1993) was located seven miles southeast of Austin, Texas. In its later years it was a major base for the U.S. Air Force's RF-4C reconnaissance fighter fleet.
John Austin Gronouski Jr. was the Wisconsin state commissioner of taxation and served as the United States Postmaster General from 1963 until 1965 under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Samuel Houston Johnson was an American businessman. He was the younger brother of President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, also known as the LBJ Presidential Library, is the presidential library and museum of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969). It is located on the grounds of the University of Texas at Austin, and is one of 13 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The LBJ Library houses 45 million pages of historical documents, including the papers of President Johnson and those of his close associates and others.
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs is a graduate school at The University of Texas at Austin that was founded in 1970 to offer professional training in public policy analysis and administration for students interested in pursuing careers in government and public affairs-related areas of the private and nonprofit sectors. Degree programs include a Master of Public Affairs (MPAff), a mid-career MPAff sequence, 16 MPAff dual degree programs, a Master of Global Policy Studies (MGPS), eight MGPS dual degree programs, an Executive Master of Public Leadership, and a Ph.D. in public policy.
The Aviation Section, Signal Corps, was the aerial warfare service of the United States from 1914 to 1918, and a direct statutory ancestor of the United States Air Force. It absorbed and replaced the Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps, and conducted the activities of Army aviation until World War I, when its statutory responsibilities were suspended for the duration of the war. The Aviation Section organized the first squadrons of the aviation arm and conducted the first military operations by United States aviation on foreign soil.
Alvin Swauger "Al" White was an American test pilot and mechanical engineer. He flew the maiden flights of both XB-70 Valkyrie aircraft, the first 2,000 mph flight, and all subsequent Mach 3 exploration flights.
Raymond L. Telles Jr. was the first Mexican-American Mayor of a major American city, El Paso, Texas. He was also the first Hispanic appointed as a U.S. ambassador.
SAM 26000 was the first of two Boeing VC-137C United States Air Force aircraft specifically configured and maintained for use by the President of the United States. It used the callsign Air Force One when the President was on board, otherwise SAM 26000, with SAM indicating 'Special Air Mission.'
The Lyndon B. Johnson bibliography includes major books and articles about President Lyndon B. Johnson, his life, and presidential administration. Kent B. Germany in his review of the historiography noted in 2009 that Johnson has been the subject of 250 Ph.D. dissertations, well over one hundred books, and many scholarly articles. The New York Times and the Washington Post published 7600 articles on him during his presidency. Only a select subgroup are listed here, chiefly those reviewed by the major scholarly journals. Germany emphasizes the decline of Johnson's reputation:
David Arthur Burchinal was a United States Air Force four-star general who served as Deputy Commander in Chief, United States European Command (DCINCEUR), from 1966 to 1973.
Lee Andrew Archer, Jr. was an African-American fighter pilot in the 332nd Fighter Group, commonly known as the Tuskegee Airmen, during World War II. He was one of the first African-American military aviators in the United States Army Air Corps, the United States Army Air Forces and later the United States Air Force, eventually earning the rank of lieutenant colonel.
The US Army Air Forces in WWII had major subordinate Commands below the Air Staff level. These Commands were organized along functional missions. One such Command was the Flying Training Command (FTC). It began as Air Corps Flying Training Command on 23 January 1942, was redesignated Army Air Forces Flying Training Command (AAFTC) on 15 March 1942, and merged with Army Air Forces Technical Training Command to become Army Air Forces Training Command on 31 July 1943. Continuing service after the war, it was redesignated Air Training Command on 1 July 1946. During the consolidation of Air Force Major Commands in the retrenchment of the 1990s, Air Training Command assumed control of Air University and became Air Education and Training Command on 1 July 1993—today's Air Education and Training Command (AETC), which celebrated its 75th anniversary 23 January 2017. see the Lineage and honors statement for AETC.
Charles Rankin Bond, Jr. was an American pilot and United States Air Force officer. He served with the Flying Tigers in Burma and China during World War II. He was shot down twice and was credited with shooting down 9.5 Japanese airplanes. He later served in the Soviet Union as an aide and personal pilot to W. Averell Harriman. He rose to the rank of brigadier general and, during the Vietnam War, he was the deputy commanding officer of the 2d Air Division in Vietnam and the 13th Air Force in the Philippines. He retired from the United States Air Force in 1968 as commander of the Twelfth Air Force. In 1984, Bond's diary of his service with the Flying Tigers was published and became a bestseller.
Godfrey T. McHugh was a United States Air Force general, and served as military aide to President John F. Kennedy.
Glenn Emile Duncan was a career officer in the United States Air Force and one of the leading aces of Eighth Air Force in World War II in Europe and the top ace of the 353rd Fighter Group. Duncan was credited with 19.5 victories, one probable victory, and seven damaged German aircraft. He also destroyed at least nine enemy aircraft on the ground, while flying P-47 Thunderbolts with the 353rd Fighter Group. He flew combat missions in the P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs in Europe. His aircraft was shot down in Germany in July 1944. He traveled on foot to Holland, where he worked with the Dutch resistance until the end of the war. Duncan died on July 14, 1998, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.