James Winston Galloway
Sergeant, United States Army
Jim Galloway, 83
Courtesy of the Flint (Michigan) Journal
Sunday, March 06, 2005
By Christofer Machniak
Family members say Jim Galloway's quiet manner wouldn't tip you off that he was a decorated World War II aviator and prisoner of war, who once escaped from prison camp, or a local builder who helped minorities get into the contracting business before the civil rights movement.
Galloway, 83, of Flint died Wednesday from problems related to a heart condition after battling a longer-term illness, they said. He will be buried Friday in Arlington National Cemetery.
"He was a very quiet man, but very generous," said Maggie Galloway, his daughter. "He loved to build things for people."
The family also describes Galloway as a devoted family man and community volunteer who was Boy Scout master and a reading tutor for Flint schools, and a proud patriarch of a family with ties to local politics, but who generally disliked politicians.
Galloway was born in 1922 in Ortonville. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941 and flew as a bombardier and navigator in a B-26 over Africa and Europe. His plane was shot down in 1944 over France. He was a prisoner for 14 months, spending some of his time in captivity at the infamous Stalag 17-B camp.
Galloway escaped once for 14 days, making it as far as Yugoslavia before an English-speaking German officer caught him. During his time at the camp, one of his sons said, he would throw some of his rations to Russian prisoners who were separated and treated more harshly by the Germans.
For his military service, Galloway earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Purple Hearts and several other medals.
After the war, Galloway returned to the area and went to work for General Motors, where he met Norma, his wife of 59 years, while the two carpooled with others from Oxford. The couple married in 1946 and had four children.
Galloway then formed the Galloway Real Estate and Construction Co., building several Sunshine Food Stores, switching stations for the phone company and a nursing home in Montrose.
A believer in diversity, Galloway helped local blacks form local contracting companies, said son Rodney, a carpenter who lives in Hessel.
Galloway's construction company went belly up during the recession in the 1980s, family members said.
Galloway didn't like politicians even though his daughter, Brenda Gonzales, served two years on the Genesee County Board of Commissioners, and her husband, Lee Gonzales, is now a state representative. Grandson Ehren Gonzales serves on the Mott Community College Board of Trustees.
Galloway also leaves son Bruce, seven other
grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.