Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Jim's History

Gone But Not Forgotten

photo1242_sm.jpg First Lieutenant James J. Lydon, USAFA Class of 1964, passed away on 19 Jan 2011 in New Jersey. He was interred in the BGen William C. Doyle Cemetery in Wrightstown, NJ.

Jim enlisted in the Air Force Reserves during the summer of 1959 and went through Basic Training at Lackland AFB, TX in August 1959. He attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS), Bainbridge, MD from September 1959 to March 1960. He and classmate Nick Lacey were assigned to the same flight while at NAPS. Holding a rank of A/3C, Jim returned to inactive status after taking the USAF Academy entrance examinations.

Jim entered the Air Force Academy on 27 June 1960. Jim and John Cunningham were in the same Basic Cadet Training (BCT) Flight, commanded by none other than Charlie Stebbins. Jim thought it would be a good idea to leave notes in his classmates' rooms directing them to report to the Flight Commander at some unusual hours in various uniforms. The result was the Flight doing pushups until someone confessed. Part of the story is that one classmate hid in the latrine until the pushups were over and another got caught smuggling ice cream back to the room in his bloused fatigue pants.

Following BCT, Jim was a member of CS07, where in addition to his academic and military pursuits, he participated in intramural boxing and skiing.

Classmates remember Jim as one heck of a nice guy. He was the type of guy who would do just about anything you asked of him. He just had a big heart. Bob Salas remembers him like his photo – always with a big smile and always friendly. He was the kind of guy we all would want as a friend.

Following graduation, Jim was assigned to the 27th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Loring AFB, ME, where he served as an aerospace munitions officer. He separated from the Air Force on 15 June 1967. In 1972, he was serving as an auditor for CIGNA.

(Compiled from various sources by Doug Jenkins, with rembrances from John Cunningham, Nick Lacey and Bob Salas)
[ Home ] [ Table Of Contents ]