Lt. Col. James A. Attaway, USAF, Ret., of Baker City, Oregon passed away on December 18, 2017 in Boise, Idaho at the age of 96.
A Graveside Service will be held in Spring 2018 at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Baker City, Oregon.
Jim was born on May 29, 1921 in Phoenix, Arizona to Albert and Bessie (McCulley) Attaway. He attended high school in Bellflower, California and graduated in 1939. He then attended Fullerton Junior College where he received cadet pilot training, graduating in 1941. Jim also obtained pilot training for B-24s and B-17s in the United States Air Force.
Jim married Rosemary Cravens on August 17, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan.
On October 30, 1941, at 20 years old, Jim became an official United States Air Force pilot. He flew B-17s over Europe. His B-17 was “Black Heart”. Jim flew 25 missions in World War II. On one of his missions, Jim and his crew were to drop bombs on a target. When they got to their target, for some unknown reason, they were alone without backup. They dropped the bombs, hit their target and headed home. They encountered several German fighter planes and two of their engines were shot out and a waste gunner was killed. When they landed safely back at the base, they realized how lucky they were to be alive. On examination of the plane Jim realized he had a 20 millimeter shell sitting under his seat, inches from taking his life. Also, there was an explosive device lodged beneath the plane that failed to explode. Jim’s family thanks him for his service and thanks God for protecting him.
Jim retired from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service. He then worked for the FAA Flight Service at Baker Airport and retired after 20 years.
He loved golf and played with the guys twice per week until he was 90 years old. He was a member of the Nazarene Church, Elks, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Cathy Blankinship of Baker City, Oregon; son, John Attaway of Boise, Idaho; and daughter, Susan Cassidy of Baker City, Oregon. He is also survived by 6 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Bessie Attaway; his wife, Rosemary C. Attaway; and his son, Danny S. Attaway.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Rachel Pregnancy Center-Baker City through Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel at 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.