Jim was transferred to classification in Santa Ana, but was washed out of Cadet training with thousands of hopeful pilots as classification closed. He was re-assigned to radio school, scored in the upper ten percent of his class and was ordered to B-29s as a Radio Operator Mechanic.
Jim trained in Fairmount AAP at Geneva, Nebraska and Borinquen Field Puerto Rico, then was stationed at Northwest Field, Guam, 315th Bomb Wing, 501st Group, where he completed three training missions, and 10 missions over Japan. Jim was aboard the B-29 "Boomerang" for the last and longest bombing mission ever attempted from the Mariannas on August 15, 1945, 9 days after Hiroshima and 6 days after Nagasaki. The end of WWII was actually announced by President Truman two hours before The Boomerang touched back down on Northwest Field, Guam.
Jim was honorably discharged from the Army Air Corps in 1946, attended the University of Texas, and then attended the Herbert Wall Conservatory of music and drama in Hollywood, California. Since 1950, he's performed as a film actor and singer in feature movies, live television and commercials, and was a regular in Jack Webb's Mark VII productions for 8 years. Jim is an ASCAP member and composer. He is also the author of a book entitled The Last Mission, an eyewitness account of the 20th Air Force/315th Bomb Wing legacy.
This wonderful book now resides in such honorable places as the George Bush Presidential Library in Houston, Texas; the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California; and the Herbert Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Jim currently lives in Playa Del Rey, California, and is looking at film offers for "The Last Mission" story.
For more information, contact Jim B. Smith