Jim Shope Vietnam Era Pilot


Jim Shope grew up in Oregon. He stepped forward to enlist in the USAF upon graduating from high school in 1960. He served as an Air Police guard, dog handler at various bases. He also completed 2 years of college through off-duty correspondence courses.
Upon discharge he missed the Air Force, reenlisting in 1965 serving at Lackland AFB as an air policeman. Jim was qualified for the Airman Education and Commissioning Program. He finished his degree at the University of Southern California with a BS in Cinema, June, 1968.
He was commissioned as a 2nd LT at Randolph AFB in September 1968, shortly thereafter selected for pilot training.
He completed pilot training then sent to AC-119K fixed wing gunship school in Ohio. In July, 1970 he was posted to Special Operations as a co-pilot flying from Phan Rang AB, Ton Son Nhut AFB and also Nakkon Phnom AB in Thailand. He earned 9 Air Medals and the DFC.
Returning to the USA he was posted as an instructor pilot at Hurlburt Field, FL. Later he became an instructor pilot flying a T-37 Trainer. In July, 1977 he was selected for F-4 training, Homestead AFB, FL and posted to Nellis assigned to the 474th Tactical Fighter Wing.
Jim was selected for the Command and Staff School Maxwell AFB, FL. Shortly thereafter he transitioned the F-16 posted to Spain. Rounding out his career he was assigned to the 8th Infantry Division as Air Liaison Officer in Germany.
He retired in August, 1987, as a Major, after 28 years of service starting as an EM, later to a Commissioned Officer. Jim served our nation as a true patriot and decorated pilot. Plan to attend and enjoy his impressive military resume, in his own words, as we kick off the 2019 Veterans Club 11th year.

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