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James Franklin Risher, Jr., was born on the rural community of Smoaks,South Carolina, on May 8, 1916. He earned a B.A. degree in English from the Citadel,the military college of South Carolina, in 1938 and a master’s degree from theUniversity of South Carolina. He entered the United States Army as an infantry officer,serving with the Thirty-Sixth, Eighty-Fourth, and Fourth Infantry Division. He marriedFlorence “Betty” Kahrs in 1941. In 1943, he transferred to the U.S. Army Air Force,where he served in World War II as a B-17 Bomber pilot in the Eighth Air Force, 401stBombardment Group (Heavy), and flew thirty-two combat missions. Upon returninghome from combat duties, he served as a radar pilot instructor, an assignment atthe Pentagon with U.S. Air Force Headquarters, and the Thirty-Sixth Fighter Wing inPanama and Germany during the Allied occupation. While in Germany, he becamethe executive officer for the 7499th Composite Squadron. He served another U.S. AirForce Headquarters assignment as head of the manpower statistics office, and from1954–1958 as professor of air science (ROTC) at North Carolina State University.This was followed by a tour as deputy director of the 6313th Air Base Wing atKadena, Okinawa, and the air force director of ground safety at Norton Air ForceBase, California. His last assignment was with the Aerospace Studies Institute, AirUniversity, Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Following his militarycareer, Colonel Risher and Mrs. Risher moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked forCoastal States Insurance Company and the Georgia Safety Council for several years.During his military career, Colonel Risher authored several professional studies andarticles in air force publications. He is the author of Interview With Honor (Dorranceand Company, 1975), a story of the famous Burr-Hamilton duel. James F. Risher, Jr.,died of cancer on July 22, 1986.
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