Atkins, James, Lt Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1950-1965, Strategic Air Command (SAC)
Officer Collar Insignia
Lieutenant Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by A3C Michael S. Bell to remember Atkins, James, Lt Col.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Vancouver, WA

Date of Passing
Nov 04, 2009
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
From Patriot Guard Riders:

07 Nov 2009 2:35 AM

Ladies & Gentlemen of the Patriot Guard, we have been invited by the family of Lt. Col. James Atkins, USAF Retired to honor him at his service followed by a graveside service with full Military Honors. James served tours in WW II, Korea and Vietnam. James served with the Strategic Air Command as a navigator in B52?s.

Ride Captain: Steve Guild

Friday, Nov.13

Staging at Pendleton Woolen Mill Parking lot in Washougal, WA.

Staging time: 0820 hrs

Ride Brief: 0840 hrs

KSU: 0850 hrs

Flag line in place: 0900 hrs

Flag line dismiss when service starts approximately 1000 hrs

Flag line in place at Fisher?s Cemetery in Vancouver, WA. 1230 hrs

5 bike escort in place at church 1200 hrs

Graveside Service: 1300 hrs

If you are interested in riding in the 5 man missing man escort please contact me.

Steve Guild

Clark County Ride Captain


Respectfully Serving You and the PGR,
Cullen "Bluelight" Ritchie
Washington State Captain
Other Comments:
At 13 Nov 2009 6:03 PM

RE: Lt. Col. James Atkins, USAF (Ret.), WWII Korea and Vietnam, Washougal, WA, 13 NOV 09
by BornFree

***************** Mission Summary ****************

Today we stood for James G. Atkins, Sr. Lt. Colonel USAF (ret.). Lt. Colonel Atkins served tours in four wars if you include the Cold War. He flew in B-29's during WW II in the South Pacific, he worked on the B-36 Project in the late 1940's and he flew in B-29's over North Korea. James flew in B-47's in the early Cold War mid 1950's before transitioning to the B-52's, with flights over the North Pole, the Cuban Missile Crisis and missions over Vietnam. We were honored to stand, ride and salute this veteran in the rain at his memorial service, the Escort to the cemetery and grave-side services. We had 12 PGR, 2 cages, 9 bikes, one long rider from Tacoma. The family was very thankful for our honors as we were honored to stand for this man that has stood for us. Thank you to all that showed, You made this a very easy yet Stand-Out mission.

Steve Guild
Clark Co. Ride Captain
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Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)
From Month/Year
December / 1952
To Month/Year
April / 1953

The military stalemate continued throughout the winter of 1952-1953. Allied Sabrejet pilots, meantime, persisted in destroying MiGs at a decidedly favorable ratio. In December the Communists developed an ambush tactic against F-86 pilots patroling along the Yalu River: MiG pilots would catch the UN aircraft as they ran short of fuel and headed south to return to base. During these engagements, some of the F-84 pilots exhausted their fuel and had IO bail out over Cho-do Island, 60 miles southwest of Pyongyang.

United Nations forces held the island and maintained an air rescue detachment there for such emergencies. To avoid combat while low on fuel, Sabre pilots began to fly home over the Yellow Sea. MiG pilots at this time generally sought the advantages of altitude, speed, position, and numbers before engaging in aerial combat. The UN pilots, on the other hand, relied on their skills to achieve aerial victories, even though they were outnumbered and flying aircraft that did not quite match the flight capabilities of the MiG-15s.

One memorable battle occurred on February l8, 1953, near the Sui-ho Reservoir on the Yalu River, 110 miles north of Pyongyang; 4 F-86Fs attacked 48 MiGs, shot down 2, and caused 2 others to crash while taking evasive action. All 4 U.S. aircraft returned safely to their base. While the Fifth Air Force maintained air superiority over North Korea during daylight hours, the Far East Air Forces Bomber Command on nighttime missions ran afoul of increasingly effective Communist interceptors. The aging B- 29s relied on darkness and electronic jamming for protection from both interceptors and antiaircraft gunfire, but the Communists used spotter aircraft and searchlights to reveal bombers to enemy gun crews and fighter-interceptor pilots.

As B-29 losses mounted in late 1952, the Bomber Command compressed bomber formations to shorten the time over targets and increase the effectiveness of electronic countermeasures. The Fifth Air Force joined the Navy and Marines to provide fighter escorts to intercept enemy aircraft before they could attack the B-29s. Bomber Command also restricted.missions along the Yalu to cloudy, dark nights because on clear nights contrails gave away the bombers' positions. FEAF lost no more B-29s after January 1953, although it continued its missions against industrial targets. On March 5 the B-29s penetrated deep into enemy territory to bomb a target at Chongjin in northeastern Korea, only 63 miles from the Soviet border. While Bomber Command struck industrial targets throughout North Korea during the winter of 1952-1953, the Fifth Air Force cooperated with the U.S. Navy's airmen in attacks on supplies, equipment, and troops near the from fines.

In December 1952 the Eighth Army moved its bombline from 10,000 to 3,000 meters from the front lines, enabling Fifth Air Force and naval fighter-bombers to target areas closer to American positions. Beyond the front lines, the Fifth Air Force focused on destroying railroads and bridges, allowing B-26s to bomb stalled vehicles. In January 1953 the Fifth Air Force attempted to cut the 5 railroad bridges over the Chongchon Estoary near Sinanju, 40 miles north of Pyongyang. Expecting trains to back up in marshaling yards at Sinanju, Bomber Command sent B-29s at night to bomb them, but these operations hindered enemy transportation only briefly.

As the ground thawed in the spring, however, the Communist forces had greater difficulty moving supplies and reinforcements in the face of the Fifth Air Force's relentless attacks on transportation. At the end of March 1953, the Chinese Communist government indicated its willingness to exchange injured and ill prisoners of war and discuss terms for a cease-fire in Korea. On April 20 Communist and United Nations officials began an exchange of POWs, and 6 days later, resumed the sessions at Panmunjom. 
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
December / 1952
To Month/Year
April / 1953
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
Personal Memories
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  151 Also There at This Battle:
  • Barboza, John, TSgt, (1952-1973)
  • Crouch, James, A2C, (1951-1955)
  • Mathews, John, Maj, (1951-1971)
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