Brigadier General

James R. Risner

Air Force
Inducted 2014

James R. Risner

Brigadier General James R. Risner, U.S. Air Force, was born 16 January 1925 in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas. In April 1943 he enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Forces Aviation Cadet Program. On 23 May 1944 he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and awarded his Pilot Wings at Williams Field, Arizona. During World War II, from May 1944 to August 1946, he flew P-38 Lightnings and P-39 Air Cobras while assigned to the 30th Fighter Squadron, Howard Field, Panama. On 19 August 1946 he joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard, and on 16 February 1951, was recalled to active duty and assigned to the 185th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. He served in Oklahoma and Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina until April 1952 when he was deployed to Seoul Air Base in South Korea. Then, from April 1952 to February 1953, he served with the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron during the Korea War. He flew 110 combat missions and was credited with destroying eight MIG-15s in aerial combat. He became the 20th jet ace of the Korea War. He was a Prisoner of War for 2,707 days during the Vietnam War. He graduated the Air War College at Maxwell U.S. Air Force Base, Alabama.

BrigGen Risner awards and decorations include two U.S. Air Force Distinguished Service Crosses, Distinguished Service Medal, two Silver Stars, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Purple Hearts, and Prisoner of War Medal. He died 22 October 2013 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.