James Harold Weiner – Brigadier General, United States Air Force

From a contemporary press report:

James H. Weiner, 86, a retired Air Force brigadier general who was federal systems director with the long lines division of AT&T until the early 1980s and then was a consultant, died May 11, 2001, at the Washington Home. He had Alzheimer's disease.

General Weiner's 33-year military career was largely in communications and electronics.

He retired from the Defense Communications Agency in 1966 as assistant deputy director and chief of staff of the defense communications system.

He was a native of Winthrop, Massachusetts, who attended the Lowell Institute and Boston University. He served in Puerto Rico during World War II and in Germany in the early 1950s.

He was commander of the Pacific communications area based in Hawaii before his final posting in Washington.  His honors included four Legions of Merit and an Army Commendation Medal.

Gen. Weiner was a member of the Air Force Communications and Electronics Association and the Brotherhood of Washington Hebrew Congregation. He was president of the board of the Towers condominium association and volunteered at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

A daughter, Toni Lou Weiner, died in 1976.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Ruth Weiner of Washington; a daughter, Carol W. Wilner of Bethesda; and a granddaughter.


On Friday, May 11, 2001, of Washington, D.C. Beloved husband of Ruth R. Weiner; father of Carol Wilner and the late Toni Weiner; brother of Joseph Weiner, Sumner Weiner, and Beatrice Blumsack; also survived by granddaughter, Cara Wilner. Services will be held at the Washington Hebrew Congregation, Macomb and Massachusetts Ave., N.W., on Thursday, May 17, at 8 a.m. Interment to follow at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer's Disease Research, 15825 Shady Grove Rd., Suite 140, Rockville, MD 20850. Retired Aug. 1, 1966, Died May 11, 2001

Courtesy of the United States Air Force

James H. Weiner graduated from Winthrop High School in 1932, entered Lowell Institute, and later the evening division of Boston University.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve on June 19, 1936. He was employed by the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company in Boston as a communications engineer before going on active duty in August 1941, as detachment commander of the 4th Airways Communications Region, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

In February 1942 he was assigned to Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico, where in December 1942 he assumed command of the 9th Airways Communications Region. He was one of the first communications region commanders in the Caribbean area. It was during this assignment that he received the Legion of Merit for setting up the communications and flight facilities to effectively ferry large numbers of aircraft from the United States to the African theater of war.

General Weiner returned to the United States in August 1943 and commanded the following units: 22nd Airways Communications Region and the 42nd Airways and Air Communications Service Group, both at Mitchell Field, New York, and the 53rd Airways and Air Communications Service Group at Peterson Field, Colorado.

He reverted to inactive status in 1946 and was associated with the New England  Telephone and Telegraph Company. In 1948 he again returned to active duty as commander of the 143rd Airways and Air Communications Service Squadron at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

In January 1949 he was selected as one of two senior communications officers to attend the Air Force Institute of Technology's 18 month high level communications management Training with Industry course.

In 1950 General Weiner went to the Continental Air Command at Mitchell Air Force Base, New York, as chief of Communications Systems Division. He became the assistant director of Communications-Electronics at Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colorado, in 1951.

He was assigned, in January 1952, as director of communications and operations at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe. Returning in 1954, he was assigned to the Air Defense Command again, this time as director of communications-electronics.

His next assignment, beginning in June 1958, was at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where he was assigned as director of communications-electronics. In January 1959, he became assistant chief of staff, communications-electronics on the staff of the
commander-in-chief, Pacific Air Forces.

While in this position, he directed the preparation of plans and implementation actions which culminated in the consolidation under a single managership of communications facilities throughout the PACAF area. His conception of all communications services being managed by one unit was test run in the Pacific under his direction. This pioneering effort later led to world-wide adoption and creation, on July 1, 1961, of a new major command – the Air Force Communications Service.

The geographical span of this command is one of the largest in the world. General Weiner was responsible for providing communications services covering the vast area from the West Coast of the Continental United States into Southeast Asia, and
from the Far East areas of Japan and Korea, south to Australia and as far north as Alaska.

General Weiner assumed the additional role of the assistant chief of staff for communications-electronics for the commander-in-chief, PACAF, on Jan. 1, 1962. This combined duty means he was the single manager of all Air Force communications support services, facilities, maintenance and staff functions in the Pacific area.

In February 1963, General Weiner was assigned to the Defense Communications Agency in Washington, D.C. His position is that of assistant deputy director for the Defense Communications System. This assignment was a natural follow-on to his
previous experience in the Pacific where he pioneered the initial consolidation of Air Force communications elements.

The Defense Communications Agency is a jointly manned Department of Defense activity charged with the overall management and operational supervision of the Defense Communications System. The DCS is an integrated system comprised primarily of the long-haul, common-user communications resources which are operated and maintained by the three military departments. In this challenging position General Weiner plays a key role in developing and maintaining a world-wide responsive
communications system to meet the command and control requirements of the Department of Defense while, at the same time, achieving maximum economy in resources and operations.

Among the general's decorations are the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters and the Army Commendation Medal.


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