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Gen. James Boddie, Jr.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. James T. Boddie was born on October 18, 1931 in Baltimore, Maryland. Boddie graduated from Fredrick Douglass High School in Baltimore in February 1949. Boddie received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Howard University in 1954, and his M.A. degree in public administration from Auburn University in 1975. In addition, Boddie completed military studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1971, and the Air War College in 1975.

Boddie received his U.S. Air Force officer’s commission through the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Program at Howard University, and then earned his wings in 1956. His first operational assignment was with the 560th Strategic Fighter Squadron at Bergstrom Air Force Base that was equipped with the F-84 Thunderstreak fighter plane. Boddie reported to Nellis Air Force Base in 1957 for gunnery and weapons delivery training in the F-100 Super Sabre. Upon completion, Boddie was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Europe Weapons Center in Tripoli, Libya where he served from until 1961. After his return to the United States in February 1961, Boddie assumed responsibilities as commandant of cadets at the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Program at Tuskegee Institute. In 1966, Boddie volunteered for combat duty in Southeast Asia, and was assigned to the 559th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base in the Republic of Vietnam. In addition to his duties as operations and scheduling officer, Boddie completed a total of two-hundred and one F-4 combat missions, fifty-seven of which were flown over North Vietnam. In 1980, Boddie was promoted to Brigadier General. He then served as aviation director in the Aircraft Management office, at NASA Headquarters, from 1991 to 1996; and, between 2006 and 2008, Boddie served as president of Texas Southern University.

Boddie’s experience as a command and combat pilot includes over five-thousand hours in jet fighter aircraft. His military decorations and awards include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, thirteen Air Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon, the Combat Readiness Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. Boddie also wears the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff badge.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. James T. Boddie, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 28, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.026

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/28/2013

Last Name

Boddie

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Timothy

Occupation
Schools

Auburn University

Harvard University

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

BOD02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

It is five o'clock somewhere.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

10/18/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Brigadier general Gen. James Boddie, Jr. (1931 - ) has logged more than five-thousand hours and flown over two-hundred mission as a U.S. Air Force command pilot.

Employment

United States Air Force

Link flight Simulation Co.

Operational Technologies Services, Inc.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Texas Southern University

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Boddie's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Boddie lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Boddie describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Boddie talks about his maternal grandfather, Reverend James Arthur Moore

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Boddie talks about his mother's friendship with Alberta Williams King

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Boddie talks about his mother's growing up in Atlanta, and her family's move to Chicago, Kansas City and Baltimore

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Boddie describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Boddie talks about his father's education and family

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Boddie describes how his parents met and their service in the Baptist church

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Boddie describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Boddie describes how he met his wife, Mattie Dwiggins, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Boddie describes how he met his wife, Mattie Dwiggins, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Boddie talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Boddie describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Boddie describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Baltimore and Germantown, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Boddie describes his interest in airplanes, reading and photography

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Boddie describes his experience in school, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Boddie describes his experience in school, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Boddie talks about Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis and the Hindenburg disaster

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Boddie discusses his and his family's political affiliations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James Boddie describes why he chose to attend Howard University in 1949

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Boddie talks about his siblings' education, high school, and his mentor, Lloyd N. Ferguson

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Boddie talks about the people he met at Howard University in the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Boddie explains why he stopped playing football at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Boddie talks about his classmates at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Boddie talks about being commissioned in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Boddie talks about his assignment to primary pilot training in Bartow, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Boddie talks about experiencing racism at primary pilot training in Bartow, Florida, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Boddie talks about experiencing racism at primary pilot training in Bartow, Florida, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Boddie talks about his assignments to Bergstrom Air Force Base and Nellis Air Force Base for F100 training

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Boddie describes his experience at Nouasseur Air Base in Morocco and at Wheelus Air Base in Libya, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Boddie describes his experience at Nouasseur Air Base in Morocco and at Wheelus Air Base in Libya, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Boddie talks about getting married in 1962

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Boddie describes his combat missions in the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Boddie talks about his experience in Vietnam, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Boddie talks about his experience in Vietnam, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Boddie discusses the absence of racial problems in Vietnam, and his limited exposure to Vietnamese civilian life

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James Boddie talks about returning to the United States from his service in Vietnam in 1967

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - James Boddie talks about becoming a major in the U.S. Air Force, and his appointment to the 4457th Technical Training Wing

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - James Boddie describes his relationship to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Boddie talks about the March from Selma to Montgomery in 1965

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Boddie talks about visiting Martin Luther King in Montgomery a day after his house had been bombed

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Boddie talks about working at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base in the late 1960s and early 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Boddie describes his experience at the Air War College

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Boddie talks about his assignments at Langley Air Force Base and Moody Air Force Base

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Boddie talks about his experience at Osan Air Base in South Korea from 1978 to 1980, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Boddie talks about his experience at Osan Air Base in South Korea from 1978 to 1980, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Boddie talks about his promotion to the rank of brigadier general, and his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in 1983

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Boddie talks about the use of flight simulators in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Boddie talks about his role as Director of Air Force Requirements for the Link Flight Simulation Division of the Singer Company

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Boddie talks about his service as Vice President of Operations and Business Development for Operational Technologies Services, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Boddie talks about his service as Director of Aviation for NASA's Aircraft Management Office, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Boddie talks about his service as Director of Aviation for NASA's Aircraft Management Office, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Boddie talks about his company, Genesys Industries, and serving on the Board of Directors of the Military Officers Association

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Boddie describes his decision to move to Plano, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Boddie talks about his tenure as the interim president of Texas Southern University from 2006 to 2008

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Boddie talks about the Republican Party's control in Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James Boddie talks about travelling with his wife, attending ighter pilot reunions, and being diagnosed with cancer

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - James Boddie talks about being a member of the Tuskegee Airmen Organization

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - James Boddie discusses his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Boddie reflects upon the status of African Americans in the U.S. military

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Boddie reflects upon this life and career

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Boddie reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Boddie talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Boddie talks about how he would like to be remembered

Maj. Walter Sanderson, Jr.

U.S. Army Major Walter Sanderson, Jr. was born in Washington, D.C. on March 20, 1921 to Yale Manning Sanderson, a teacher, and Walter B. Sanderson, Sr., a chauffeur. His siblings include younger brother, John and younger sister, Vera. After graduating from Washington, D.C.’s Dunbar High School as an honors student and salutatorian in 1937, Sanderson enrolled at Howard University, where he was a member of the Army ROTC. He earned his B.S. degree at Howard in 1941 and was awarded medals from Howard University President, Mordecai Johnson at the ROTC Military Day drill competition. After graduating from Howard, Sanderson was hired by the United States Postal Service in mail distribution in 1941.

Sanderson joined the United States Army in 1942 and saw action in World War II as an infantry reservist with the 25th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Infantry Division, a segregated unit of the United States Army composed entirely of African American soldiers led by African American junior and white senior officers. In 1943, Sanderson’s unit began fighting in the Pacific Theater Campaign on Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands Chain, near Guadalcanal Island, against Japanese forces. His unit performed combat patrols on other islands until combat on Morotai Island in 1945. In 1945, while serving on Morotai Island in Indonesia, Sanderson’s company was cited for bravery. Division patrols earned the distinction of capturing Col. Kisou Ouichi, the highest ranking Japanese prisoner of war in the Pacific. In 1944, Sanderson was promoted from 2nd to 1st Lieutenant in his unit, the 25th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Infantry Division. In 1952, Sanderson served with the 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division in the Korean War (1950 – 1953), suffering a shell fragment wound in combat.

Included in Sanderson’s many accolades are a Purple Heart for wounds received in combat in the Korean War and two Bronze Star Medals for meritorious service. Sanderson was also the recipient of a United Nations Service Medal and Master Combat Infantry Badge. In 1965, after his 23 years in the military, Sanderson was hired as a systems analyst doing defense analysis for the U.S. Government, which earned him a nomination for National Civil Service League’s Career Service Award in 1971. Sanderson was a longtime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization and the Second Infantry Division Association. Sanderson was married to late wife Juanita H. Sanderson. He has two adult children, Leslie Swift and Walter B. Sanderson III.

Walter B. Sanderson, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 9, 2012.

Sanderson passed away on February 5, 2017.

Accession Number

A2012.068

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/9/2012

Last Name

Sanderson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Walt

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

SAN05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Machts Nicht.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/20/1921

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

2/5/2017

Short Description

Major Maj. Walter Sanderson, Jr. (1921 - 2017 ) garnered a Purple Heart and two Bronze Star Medals for meritorious service in combat in World War II and the Korean War.

Employment

United States Government

United States Postal Service

United States Army

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Walter Sanderson Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Walter Sanderson Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his mother's family background and the story behind her name

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about his mother and her college education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his parents' move to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about his earliest childhood memory and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Walter Sanderson Jr. recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Walter Sanderson Jr. recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Walter Sanderson Jr. discusses his father's upbringing in Gees Bend, Alabama and his employment as a police officer in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his childhood and elementary school education in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about his school and the person who his junior high school was named after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about his favorite subject in junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his maternal grandfather's history and describes his high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his participation in the high school cadet corps

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about famous African Americans from his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his career goals following graduation from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about the events in Europe during World War II, pt 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about the events in Europe during World War II, pt 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes the racism he encountered when applying for a job with the Weather Bureau

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Walter Sanderson Jr. recounts the military's attitude towards African American soldiers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about serving as 2nd Lieutenant of the 93rd Infantry Division's 25th Regiment

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Walter Sanderson Jr. discusses the history of the 25th Regiment and segregation in the military

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his tour of duty in the Pacific and his first combat experience

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes a gruesome incident he witnessed during his tour of duty in the Pacific

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Walter Sanderson Jr. discusses the Battle of Morotai, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Walter Sanderson Jr. discusses the Battle of Morotai pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his promotion to the rank of Captain as well as the capture of Japanese officers by the 93rd Division

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Walter Sanderson Jr. provides a basis for his opinion

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about his return to the United States and daughter, Leslie Gale Sanderson

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Major Walter Sanderson, Jr. talks about his re-enlisting in the military and his employment with the U.S. Postal Service

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Major Walter Sanderson, Jr. describes being re-called into active duty in 1951

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Major Walter Sanderson, Jr. talks about his role as an instructor in the military

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Major Walter Sanderson, Jr. talks about his participation in the Korean War

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Major Walter Sanderson, Jr. comments on the torture of Chinese prisoners by the United States military

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Major Walter Sanderson, Jr. recalls his interactions with white subordinates

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Major Walter Sanderson, Jr. talks about the white officer that saved his life on the battlefield

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Walter Sanderson Jr. comments on the inhumanity of war

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Walter Sanderson Jr. comments on race relations between black and white soldiers during the Korean War

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his career with the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Walter Sanderson Jr. discusses changes in the character of frontline warfare

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Walter Sanderson Jr. discusses his retirement in 1977 and reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Walter Sanderson Jr. explains his philosophy on life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Walter Sanderson Jr. explains the significance of President Barack Obama's election

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Walter Sanderson Jr. talks about his parents and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Walter Sanderson Jr. describes the racism he encountered when applying for a job with the Weather Bureau
Walter Sanderson Jr. describes his tour of duty in the Pacific and his first combat experience
Transcript
Now, I have here that you were working at the post office?$$Yeah, I applied for a job at the post office because they were then, the post office was then off rank. Uh, it what was we call war time indefinite appointments, something like that, which after a period they decided to make me permanent. And I should add, that at the same time I was hoping to express my disdain for the German approach to life. I was not at all satisfied with the treatment of this country, and I can give you one example. The Weather Bureau, the Interior Department, was advertising for people to hire as to interpret and go over old ship records made over the years about weather on the English Channel. I found out later that the purpose was to analyze those records in order to select the proper time and place for a cross channel invasion which became what we know now as D-Day. What is interesting in this discussion, however, is that about 150 or so people appeared to take the quality test and examination for these jobs, and about eight or nine of us were asked, the top scorers, to appear for, to be interviewed personally. When I appeared, the only non-white person in that group, immediately the chap who was conducting the interview called me aside and told me that I was too late, he had already hired a janitor. That impressed me as a good example of the relative priorities of patriotism and racism.$$Yes, sir.$$And when I told him that I was there because I had been asked to report as one of the highest scorers on his examination, he said, "Oh, that just wouldn't work, because we can't have anyone of your color working here."$$So, this is--$$And that was the end of my attempt to become an employee of the Weather Bureau. I had boned up for about oh, a couple of months on all the terminology and skills required to satisfy their requirements, which is why I was able to score so high on that examination, but it was obvious that priorities on their part were in a different area.$Okay. So, how long did you stay there in the desert?$$Uh, just a few months before they found a job for the unit to perform in the Pacific. Specifically, we were shipped to, first to the Guadacanal Island, which then had been pacified by the Marines, oh, five six months before then. And while at the Guadacanal, my company was ordered to move to Bougainville Island about 400 miles away. My company commander ordered me to be flown to Bougainville to, or shipped, I'm not sure which it was, as the advance man to plan for the arrival of the rest of the company and to coordinate their arrival with the American troops and the Australian Fiji Island troops who were already there. And I did that, and after about a couple of weeks or so, the company arrived, Company G, George--the George Company it was called--of the 25th Infantry Regiment under Captain Conway Jones. And it was while there only a few days after our arrival that I had my first combat live fire experience, which was written up in very florid language by the 'Pittsburgh Courier', I think, and the other black newspapers.$$Now, what happened, what happened?$$Uh, the Japanese assaulted us, coming quite close, because of a thick jungle and so forth. And I believe they were, they under-estimated our spirit and ability to resist, because they had been, it had been reported to them that quote "native troops had arrived." The Australians had a unit of Fiji Island troops there and relatively Pacific, with no great attempts to patrol and so forth into the jungle. And it was assumed, I think, by the Japanese that we were of the same ilk, because of our color.$$Fiji Islanders have, they have like very kinky hair, they are dark skinned--$$Precisely, right. And as a matter of fact, we were positive that that was what the report was, because the Fiji's had captured a Japanese non-commissioned officer who had written his report describing us that way. So, they assaulted, the Japanese assaulted us, and then in a four or five day period, attempted of course, to wipe us out. The report of the '[Pittsburgh] Courier' says that, I think, somewhere in excess of 40 of them were killed, and we had oh, eight or nine of our troops, of our own wounded. There are a couple of things there, instances there, that should be reported. Specifically, my, I was their first platoon leader. My platoon sergeant, Barry Bullock, got something, either a grenade fragment or a bullet through his hand, and he was weeping. I was quite close to him at the time and I asked why he was weeping. He said that it was not for the pain, although it was severe, but because he had been a brick mason in life, in civilian life, and he had a wife and child and he would not be able to support them when he got back.$$Okay.$$That was the last time I saw him.