James Ralph McFayden

Sgt. James McFayden, tail gunner of the Talie Ho
Sgt. James McFayden, tail gunner of the Talie Ho
Recent Address: 2995 N. US 220 Highway, Ellerbe, NC 28338
E-mail Address:
Family Info: Parents: Colin and Etta; Wife: Dorothy; Children: Elizabeth, James, Christine
Hometown: Ellerbe, NC
Date Entered Service: April 4, 1944
Service Number: 34857936
Bomb Group: 444th
Squadron: 677th
Location of Unit: Tinian - May 1945
Missions Flown: 13 Combat missions. USS Missouri (Power Display)
Hump Missions:
Targets: Omuta, Toyohashi, Komatsushima, Kure, Takamatsu, Utsonomiya, Fukui, Osaka, Hachiogi, Imabari, Tokyo, Yawata, Tokyo (POW supply mission)-2
Awards: Good Conduct Medal, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Unit Badge, Western Pacific Campaign with 1 Bronze Battle Star, Air Offensive Japan with 1 Bronze Battle Star, WWII Victory Medal, AAF Tech Badge
Service Schools: Basic Training-Keesler Field, MI 1944; Gunnery-Ft. Myers, FL 1944; Flight School-Davis-Monthan, AZ 1945
MOS: MOS 611-Aerial Gunner, MOS 612-Airplane Armorer-Gunner
Rank Upon Discharge: Sergeant
Crew Type: Flight crew
Airplane Serial No.& Name: 44-70143 Tally Ho!
Where You a POW?:
POW Location:
Where You a Interned?:
Internment Location:
Date Transferred from the 58th:
Date Discharged: May 14, 1946
Post WWII Service:
Post WWII Civilian Occupation(s): School teacher; Salesman; Owner of Integrated Poultry Co. -- producing 500,000 birds per week; Owner of Agricultural Drug Mfg. & Distribution Co. (East Coast); CEO of Financial Planning Co.; Served on Boards of Directors for many companies.
Thoughts About the 58th:
On my 18th birthday, I joined the Army Air Force because I wanted to do my part to defeat the enemies of our country and I wished to fly into battle, rather than to fight from a foxhole. After basic training, I volunteered to go to flight gunnery school. After graduation my air crew was organized and my assignment was to be the Tail Gunner!
Our crew was sent to Tinian to join the 444th Bomb Group. We flew 13 combat missions over Japan. Our plane suffered extensive flak damage (floor shot out under my foot). On a later mission we crashed on landing and the plane burned. Not a member of our crew was scratched either time. The bad memories are of our fellow crews who were lost. We grew up fast and came home with a greater respect for God and country. May God Bless America!
After the war, Mr. McFayden returned to Presbyterian College and graduated with a degree in busine ss administration in December 1947, and married Dorothy Phillips in February 1948. He was a lifelong member of Mount Carmel Presbyterian hurch, where he served as a deacon, a Sunday School teacher, and a member of the choir. In 1950, he founded the Ellerbe Poultry Company Inc., where he was president until 1979, when Ellerbe Poultry merged with White Poultry Company.
Mr. McFayden served as senior vice president of White Poultry Farm Inc., until 1985. At that time, he bought out his partners and sold the company to Perdue Farms. He was associated with various agri-business companies along the Eastern Seaboard, both as an investor and as a member of the board of directors. In 1979, he founded Systems Planning Inc., a financial consulting and planning business.
On V-J Day I was proud to have been a part of the show of force as every plane available from all bomb groups, all fighter wings, and every plane of Navy and Marines flew en masse over the Battleship Missouri as General MacArthur accepted surrender of Japanese in Tokyo Bay at 11:00 a.m.
The DVD Sgt. James R. McFayden: B-29 Tailgunner is available to view in the 58th Bomb Wing Memorial Archive.
Mr. McFayden passed away April 4, 2008. He is buried at Ellerbe Cemetery, Ellerbe, NC.

58th Bomb Wing Veterans Index
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