James P. Lang – Lieutenant, United States Navy

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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