JAMES B. PAFFORD

Captain | United States Air Force

 

Over five years elapsed since Jim flew operationally, but at the helm of the Superfortress he felt comfortable and his motions natural.  He was as cool with his crew as he was at the controls and they appreciated this quality even if the Air Force frowned at his leniency.  He was not hard-nosed by any means, but earned great respect from his men by keeping his relaxed character from their training through combat missions over Korea. 

His calm demeanor did initially weaken his crew leadership, as at times he was not aware of what was occurring across the entire ship, but as time went on after they became operational the crew bonded into a well functioning unit.  As far as Jim was concerned, each member was highly skilled and needed little supervision to succeed.

 

The navigator, John A. Grammes, was equally as relaxed as Pafford and so polite that at times would relinquish his responsibilities to the radar operator.  John was an exceptional navigator in the B-29 and despite having no previous experience in bomber type craft was able to impeccably time their arrivals whether for targets or landings.  Initially during training, Walter Quan did not totally grasp the idea of crew coordination and this might be why John would often allow him to take over his controls so appease his need to take on the responsibility.  The only officer from a rural background, Edward C. James, exhibited his skills during survival training as the only one of the lot who could procure food that was not an issued ration.

All together, the officers and men created a well rounded lot who depended greatly on each other.  Through their training they gained great respect for one another and embraced their leader's style and willingness to carry the heavy responsibility of keeping his men together and most importantly, alive.

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