Gen. Daniel "Chappie" James Jr.

General Daniel Chappie James

General Daniel "Chappie" James Jr.

He was born in 1920 in Pensacola, Florida, near the Pensacola Naval Air Station. In his teens, he pointed to a plane flying above his home and said that one day he was going to fly.  His friends quickly reminded him of his one handicap — he was black.  Chappie didn't see it that way, however; he knew someday he would fly.

  • Became a member of the Tuskegee Airmen in July 1943
  • During the Korean Conflict flew 101 combat missions in the P-51 and F-80
  • In 1966 was named vice commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing in Thailand, flying 78 combat missions over North Vietnam
  • As commander of an Air Force base in Libya,  Chappie faced down a threatening Libyan Colonel named Mohamar Khadafi over his attempted entry into the General’s base
  • First black four-star general in the history of the USAF