James Harold Merryman – Lieutenant General, United States Army

From a press report: 29 June 2003:


James H. Merryman, 74, a retired Army Lieutenant General whose last assignment was as Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, died of cancer June 24, 2003, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He lived in Springfield, Virginia.

General Merryman, who was commissioned in 1951, served as commander of a combat aviation battalion and an aviation group in Vietnam. He also served tours in Europe and with the Army General Staff.

General Merryman’s posts included service as Army Aviation Director, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Aviation Center and Deputy Chief of Combat Development with the Army Training and Doctrine Command.

In his last assignment, he was instrumental in the development and acquisition of such successful weapons systems as the AH-64A/D Apache Attack Helicopter, the M1 Abrams Tank and the M2/3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

After retiring from active duty in 1984, he worked until last month as board chairman of Leica Corporation in the United States.

General Merryman, a former Alexandria and Arlington resident, settled in the Washington area in 1964, when he was assigned to the Federal Aviation Agency.

General Merryman, a biology graduate of Henderson State Teachers College in his native Arkansas, was commissioned in the infantry in 1951. He transferred to the Armor Branch in 1955 and became an artillery officer in 1959.

He graduated from Army fixed-wing and helicopter schools and also was a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College and the Army War College. He also took advanced courses at the Army artillery and armor schools.

General Merryman’s military decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Legion of Merit, three Distinguished Flying crosses, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, 25 Air medals and three Army Commendation medals. He also wore the Master Aviator Badge and was a member of the Army Aviation Hall of Fame.

He was a member of the Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, the former Jane Frantz, of Springfield; a son, L. James Merryman of Boulder, Colorado; a brother; and two granddaughters.


On Tuesday, June 24, 2003, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Beloved husband of Jane Merryman; and loving father of L. James Merryman and his wife Andrea; grandfather of Victoria and Emma Merryman; and brother of Bob Merryman.

A funeral service with Full Military Honors will be held on Friday, July 25 at 11 a.m. at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel, with interment to follow at Arlington National Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Henderson State University Foundation – Merryman Scholarship (for outstanding ROTC cadets), Attn: John Gyllin, Director of Development, PO Box 7540, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 71999.


  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 03/03/1951 – 07/31/1984
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 04/03/1929
  • DATE OF DEATH: 06/24/2003
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 07/25/2003

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