LTC James M. Basta was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 04/24/2012 at the age of 72.3
Tampa, FL
Flight Class 65-5
Date of Birth 01/15/1940
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with 54 SIG BN in 65-66, A/7/17 CAV in 67-68, 34 SP GRP in 71-72
Call sign in Vietnam TORNADO WHITE
This information was provided by Sammie Williams, email from son

More detail on this person: James Michael Basta, (LTC Ret.), 72, a Tampa resident for over 30 years, passed away on Tuesday, April 24.

James graduated from the University of Scranton in 1961 and entered the Army through the ROTC program in which he was a distinguished military graduate and commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He retired as a Lt. Colonel after 24 years of active military service, which included tours of duty in Germany, Taiwan, and three years in Vietnam during the war where he flew both fixed wing and helicopter aircraft. He was awarded numerous medals, including the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, and Army Commendation Medal. James was a member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association of Florida (VHPAF). He pulled their static display helicopter to events all over the state, including numerous veterans' functions, parades, and schools educating the public and especially children on aviation and the Vietnam War.

He is predeceased by his parents, Michael and Mary Gallia Basta; and a brother, Joseph, of Old Forge, Pa. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, the former Marie Honcharik, his high school sweetheart; and his four children, James, Robert, Michalene Yoder and Christine Rooth; nine grandchildren, Briana, Aaron and Benjamin Basta; William, Jennifer and Rachel Yoder; and Joseph, Madison and Michael Rooth.

A funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday at St. Timothy Catholic Church. The interment will be at the Florida National Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. The family will receive friends on Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Timothy Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to VHPAF at Veterans Memorial Park, 3602 US Hwy. 301 N., Tampa, FL 33619; or St. Timothy Catholic Church Youth Building Fund, 17512 Lakeshore Rd., Lutz, FL 33558. Words of comfort may be expressed at Loy lessFuneralHome. Loyless Funeral Home, 813-996-6610.

Published in Scranton Times on April 25, 2012

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

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