James Alexander

James J. Alexander

James J. Alexander was 17 years old when Japanese forces launched a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. Just under a year later, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on his 18th birthday. He soon found himself testing war planes in the bitter cold of Alaska. This hero's story was recently shared with us by his daughters, Elizabeth Putnam and Janet Edwards.

james alexander

Born December 4, 1924 in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, James Alexander enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in December of 1942, on his 18th birthday. After induction at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, he was sent to Embry Riddle School of Aviation in Miami, Florida. Upon completion of his course of study there, he was stationed for a brief time at Bolling Field in Washington, DC. However, for most of the war he was stationed at Ladd Field in Fairbanks, Alaska.

At Ladd Field, Alexander was part of the Cold Weather Testing Detachment which was responsible for making sure aircraft would start and fly at extreme temperatures. Temperatures at Ladd Field can drop lower than -60° Fahrenheit in the winter, making it an ideal place for such testing. Alexander's unit tested how to handle wing icing and navigation, the effectiveness of cold-weather clothing and armament, and other aspects of operating aircraft in these arctic-like conditions. James worked as a mechanic on B-24 Liberator Bombers and C-64 Norseman planes and flew as a flight engineer on these aircraft.

Following the war, James Alexander was discharged from the service on March 3, 1946. Today, at age 93, he resides with his wife, Margie, in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The two have been married for 71 years.

james and margie alexander
James Alexander with his wife of 71 years, Margie

Decorations

  • WWII Victory Medal
  • American Theater Service Medal
  • Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • Sharp Shooter Medal

  | share | share | share

More Stories

Share Your Story

Tell us about your World War II hero!
We'd love to know the story of your World War II veteran. E-mail us at: stories@narroway.net.

In addition to your story, make sure to include this important information:

  • Veteran's Birthdate
  • Branch of Service
  • Date of Enlistment
  • Date of Discharge
  • Unit Assignments
  • Medals and Awards

Please note that by submitting your story, you are granting your approval to publish this story on the NarroWay website in perpetuity with or without grammatical edits. We cannot guarantee that every story submitted will be published. If your story is selected to publish, you will be requested to submit a minimum of two photos to accompany the story.

Submit Story



  • Follow us


    Blog

  • Find Us

    I-77 Exit 90
    Carowinds Blvd.
    NC / SC Border
    Just outside of Charlotte!

    Get Directions
  • Contact Us

    The NarroWay Theatre
    3327 Hwy. 51 N
    Fort Mill SC 29715
    803.802.2300
    704.831.8893
    Contact Us
  • Special Offers

    Sign up to receive special offers, updates and discounts via e-mail!

    Sign Up Now

All ticket sales are subject to the ticket policies and house policies of NarroWay Productions, Inc.
The use of any content on this site including (but not limited to) photos and videos for any purpose other than promoting NarroWay Productions is forbidden without the express written consent of NarroWay Productions, Inc.
Privacy policy