James C. Jensen – Major General, United States Air Force

Courtesy of the United States Air Force


Retired August 1, 1969, Died August 27, 1994

Major General James C. Jensen was appointed vice commander of the Aerospace Defense Command July 1, 1967, after serving as commander of the Eastern NORAD Region and ADC's First Air Force at Stewart Air Force Base, New York.

General Jensen was born in Fresno, California, in 1909. He majored in Mechanical Engineering for three and one half years at Fresno State College, then entered flying cadet training in March 1931 and received his wings at Kelly Field, Texas, in February 1932. He left the service in 1933 and returned to active duty in 1937 at March
Field, California, as a fighter pilot in the 34th Pursuit Squadron.

In 1941 he was a pilot in the first mass over-water flight of B-17s from San Francisco to Hawaii. During World War II General Jensen served with the Air Transport Command as an operations staff officer and commander where he received his first Legion of Merit.

Between 1947 and 1951 General Jensen attended the Armed Forces Staff College and the National War College with an intervening assignment in China and Japan.

In 1954 after serving as chief, Operations Plans Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, where he was promoted to brigadier general, he was named chief of U.S. Air Force Central Coordinating Staff, Ottawa, Canada, and served there until 1959 when, as a major general, he assumed command of the 30th Air Division and 30th NORAD Region at Truax Field, Wis. In 1961 he was assigned to the then Headquarters Air Defense Command as deputy chief of staff for operations.

From 1963 to 1966 he was commander of the Alaskan Air Command where he received his fourth Legion of Merit.

He is a command pilot with some 7,000 flying hours and has been a commander for the majority of his military career.

His decorations include the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Army Commendation Medal.

General Jensen was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, along with his beloved wife, Maye Looney Jensen.



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