James P. Lang, a former Tehama County district attorney who was decorated for heroism while a Navy pilot in World War II, died Saturday of kidney failure in Sacramento. He was 76.
Mr. Lang was awarded the Navy Cross — its second-highest award for heroism — for his role in attacking battleships at the Kure naval base in Japan. He flew a carrier-based torpedo-bomber from the USS Natoma Bay and the USS Bennington.
After five years as a Navy aviator, Mr. Lang joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1948.
While an officer, he attended night classes at Southwestern University School of Law and became a lawyer in 1968 — the year he retired as a police lieutenant.
His next stop was Orange County, where he worked as a county prosecutor. Two years later he moved to Tehama County, where he also worked as a prosecutor. He was appointed a judge in the Red Bluff Judicial District in 1975.
After resigning from the court in 1980, he practiced law — mostly criminal defense work.
Mr. Lang was elected district attorney in Tehama County in 1982 and served for six years.
While in Red Bluff, he married Christine McGuire, a deputy prosecutor in his office. Their marriage ended in divorce, as did an earlier marriage.
He joined the Solano County District Attorney's Office as chief deputy, a post he held until 1995.
Survivors include his third wife, Kay Corda Lang of Sacramento, whom he married in 1988; stepsons, Gregory Fishback of Chico and Jonathan Fishback of Lodi; stepdaughter, Kimberly Handley Chapman of Firebaugh, Fresno County; and three grandchildren.
At his request, no services were conducted. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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