CASSITY JAMES S

LGN James S Cassity was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 12/30/2008 at the age of 73.5
Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Date of Birth 06/17/1935
Served in the U.S. Air Force
Served in Vietnam with 20 HS in 67, 21 HS in 68
Call sign in Vietnam PONY EXPRESS
This information was provided by Jim Burns

More detail on this person: Lt Gen (ret) James S. Cassity, resident of Fair Oaks Ranch, passed away on Tuesday, December 30. Gen Cassity was born June 17, 1935 to Juanita and Shelby and considered Gary, Texas, his hometown. He was a 1958 graduate of Texas A&M University and received a Master of Science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1969. In addition, he completed the Air War College, the Defense Systems Management College and the advanced management program at Harvard.

Gen Cassity received his commission through ROTC in 1958. He earned his pilot wings at Laredo AFB, Texas. He is a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours, including 180 combat hours in helicopters during Vietnam. In 1964 he was assigned to Air Force Special Operations at Howard AFB, Canal Zone. From 1970 - 1974 he worked in the F-15 Systems Program Office at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio.

General Cassity's Communications and Information career started in 1974 when he was assigned to Headquarters, Electronic Systems Division, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. He went on to lead a variety of C&I organizations including the Engineering Installation Center, served on the HQ USAFE staff as DCS for information systems, and the NORAD and Air Force Space Command DS for Communications. In 1988, he was appointed Commander, Air Force Communications Command. His final military assignment was Director, Command Control and Communications System for the Joint Staff which supported National Command Authority and specified commands on operations. He retired from the Air Force July 1, 1991.

After his military retirement, Jim was vice president and general manager for C4 and Information Management Systems at BDM International and later TRW. He enjoyed working in the church, handing out Gideon Bibles and playing golf. Jim was married to Patricia Ann Smith on July 3, 1959. He is survived by her and by his children, Marcus Andrew Cassity and Judith Lynn Fitz and her husband, Jim, and two grandchildren, Eric and Elena. His mother, Lily Juanita Cassity also survives her son.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, January 6 at 10:00 am at First United Methodist Church in Boerne. A luncheon reception will follow. Burial with full military honors will be at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 2:15 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the Gideon's International, San Antonio North West Camp No. 4223.5, P.O. Box 681505, San Antonio, Texas 78268-1505 or First United Methodist Church, 205 James St., Boerne, Texas 78006.

BIO:

Lieutenant General James S. Cassity Jr. is director, command, control and communications systems, the Joint Staff. The directorate supports National Command Authority and all unified and specified commands on joint and combined military operations. It also develops and validates joint/combined C3 requirements ensures integration of strategic and theater C3 systems, develops master plans and net assessments, and plays a critical role in the C3 interoperability of U.S. armed forces.

General Cassity was born in 1935 and considers Gary, Texas, his hometown. He is a 1958 graduate of Texas A&M University and received a master of science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1969. He is a graduate of Defense Systems Management College, the Air War College and has completed Harvard Business School's advanced management program.

The general was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1958 and earned his pilot wings at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas. He is a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours, including 180 combat hours in helicopters. General Cassity's operational assignments include flying H-21 helicopters in support of missile testing at Hurlburt Field, Fla., in 1961 and 1962, then two years in the airborne early warning mission at Otis Air Force Base, Mass., as an EC-121 pilot and aircraft commander.

In 1964 he was assigned to Air Force Special Operations, spending three years in South America flying C-46 transports with the 605th Air Commando Squadron at Howard Air Force Base, Canal Zone, and one year in Southeast Asia flying CH-3s with the 20th and 21st Helicopter squadrons, returning in 1968.

General Cassity was assigned to the F-15 System Program Office, Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in 1970, working in various management positions in the Configuration Management Directorate. From 1974 to 1978 he was assigned to Headquarters Electronic Systems Division, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., in the Office of the Deputy for Security Assistance Programs as director of business operation; then, later, as system program director for the Combat Grande Program, Office of the Deputy for Surveillance and Navigation. In 1979 he became assistant deputy chief of staff for engineering, programs and acquisition, Air Force Communications Command, Scott Air Force Base, I11.

In July 1981 General Cassity was named commander of the Engineering Installation Center, Air Force Communications Command, Oklahoma City Air Force Station, Okla. The center, now known as the Engineering Installation Division, is the Air Force single manager for engineering and installation of communications-electronics systems and facilities. In August 1983 he was assigned as deputy chief of staff for information systems at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of the European Information Systems Division, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany. He was responsible for USAFE's communications, computer and air traffic control systems, and supported other Air Force major commands, as well as the Defense Communications Agency, U.S. European Command and NATO.

Returning to the United States in July 1985, General Cassity served as commander, Space Information Systems Division, and deputy chief of staff, Communications Electronics and Computer Resources, Headquarters North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. With the activation of U.S. Space Command in September 1985, he became director of command and control systems and logistics, and deputy chief of staff for systems integration, logistics and support, Air Force Space Command, managing and directing the command's efforts in communications, computers, logistics and contracting.

In March 1988 General Cassity assumed command of the Air Force Communications Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, I11. With more than 55,000 employees in 400 locations worldwide and a budget of almost $3 billion, AFCC engineers, acquires and maintains communications, computer and air traffic control equipment for the Air Force. He assumed his present duties in May 1989.

The general's military decorations and awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with three oak leaf clusters, Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars.

He was promoted to lieutenant general Oct. 1, 1989, with same date of rank.

(Current as of November 1989)

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters

Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list

Return to VHPA web site

Date posted on this site: 09/21/2017


Copyright © 1998 - 2017 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association