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James Orin Patton Jr


James 'Jimmy' Patton Jr was born in 1922 in Birmingham Alabama. He was attending Birmingham Southern College and working for the Continental Gin Company when he enlisted in the US Army Air Forces in June 1942. After completing his flight training at Spencer Army airfield in Georgia, Patton was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the 84th Fighter Squadron, 78th Fighter Group, based at Duxford on 26 January 1944. From 7 May to 10 June 1944 Patton undertook a temporary assignment with the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron at Boxted, and received a promotion to First Lieutenant upon his return to Duxford. Patton was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 13 May 1944, and received an oak leaf cluster on 26 August 1944, he also received the Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters during his service. Patton ended his tour of duty on 1 September 1944, upon his return to the US he married Dorothy Garrett on 28 October 1944. Following the war, Patton obtained an electrical engineering degree from the University of Alabama and served in the US Air Force Reserve, he was closely associated with his local scout troop and taught Sunday school at Bluff Park United Methodist Church. Patton retired as Chief Engineer from the American Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPO) in 1987, he died on 14 February 2006.


Units served with

  • 78th Fighter Group

    78th Fighter Group

    The 78th Fighter Group was initially based at Goxhill but moved to Duxford in April 1943 and stayed there until October 1945. The 78th FG flew each of the three US built principal fighters of the AAF in the ETO. In their Thundetbolts, the 78th FG ...

  • 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron
  • 84th Fighter Squadron

Associated Place

  • Boxted

    Military site : airfield
    Boxted was built for heavy bombers and became operational from May 1943. In the few months B-26 Marauders of the 386th Bomb Group were stationed there, there were two night attacks by the Luftwaffe. On 17 August 1943, one man was killed when bombs...

  • Duxford

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Duxford, now a museum and still a working airfield, was operated by the USAAF from 1943 to 1945. The base was briefly the home of the 350th Fighter Group in late 1942, but it was not until April 1943 that it became a fully American station when the...


Event Location Date
Born Bimingham, Alabama 14 June 1922
Enlisted 1942
Assigned to 78th Fighter Group Duxford 26 January 1944 – 7 May 1944
Assigned to 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron Boxted 7 May 1944 – 10 June 1944
Assigned to 78th Fighter Group Duxford 10 June 1944 – 1 September 1944
Died 14 February 2006


Date Contributor Update
26 November 2021 09:13:26 Emily Changes to surname, middlename, suffix, role, biography, awards, events and place associations

Marriage notice in the Birmingham News, 22 October 1944, via, Draft Registration Card via Ancestry, and Obituary

Date Contributor Update
16 August 2017 10:21:17 general ira snapsorter Changes to suffix and events

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- ;
- Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:14:48 AAM AAM ingest

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list