Daniel James Jr.

United States general (1920-1978)

Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr. (11 February 192025 February 1978) was a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force who, in 1975, became the first African American to reach the rank of four-star general in the United States Armed Forces. Three years later James was forced to retire prematurely due to heart issues, and just a couple weeks after doing so he died of a heart attack.

Look, friend, I'm really not interested in all of that, really. See I consider myself damned lucky to have been able to land my airplane at this emergency strip in one piece.

James attended the famous Tuskegee Institute and instructed African American pilots during World War II. He flew combat missions during the Korean War and Vietnam War, and received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two Air Force Distinguished Service Medals, two Legions of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Meritorious Service Medal, and fourteen Air Medals.

QuotesEdit

  • Look, friend, I'm really not interested in all of that, really. See I consider myself damned lucky to have been able to land my airplane at this emergency strip in one piece.
    • As quoted in The Right to Fight: A History of African Americans in The Military (1998), by Gerald Astor, De Capo Press, pp. 440–443
  • [T]he lawlessness, rioting, men like Stokely Carmichael acting as if they speak for the Negro people. They aren't, and set civil rights back 100 years!
    • As quoted in The Right to Fight: A History of African Americans in The Military (1998), by Gerald Astor, De Capo Press, pp. 440–443
  • I'm not disgusted. I'm a citizen of the United States of America and I'm no second-class citizen either and no man here is, unless he thinks like one and reasons like one and performs like one. This is my country and I believe in her, and I will serve her, and I'll contribute to her welfare whenever and however I can. If she has any ills, I'll stand by her until in God's given time, through her wisdom and her consideration for the welfare of the entire nation, she will put them right.
    • As quoted in The Right to Fight: A History of African Americans in The Military (1998), by Gerald Astor, De Capo Press, pp. 440–443

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