BIO - Master Sergeant James A. Shepard
Master Sergeant James A. Sheppard
James A. Sheppard was born in New York City in 1924. He was an Aviation Mechanic when he enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1942, and was assigned to the 100th Fighter Squadron, based at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama. There, he was trained as a Mechanic on the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter aircraft..
In 1943, when the 3 Squadrons of the 332nd Fighter Group moved to Selfridge Field, Michigan, he was transferred to the 301st Fighter Squadron, where he was assigned as Crew Chief Mechanic on the Bell P-39, Airacobra fighters, with the rank of Staff Sergeant.
In 1944 and 1945, while the Squadron was in combat, in Italy, during World War II he crewed the P-39 Airacobra, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, and the North American P-51 Mustang fighters, until the war in Europe ended in 1945.
Back in civilian life in New York, Sheppard enlisted in the United States Air Force Reserves in 1951, and was assigned to the 436th Troop Carrier Wing, which operated the Fairchild C-119 Aircraft. This, while working for various airlines as an aviation mechanic at John F. Kennedy Airport, and later with the Federal Aviation Administration.
In 1957, as Line Chief and Flight Engineer, was promoted to rank of Master Sergeant, and was honorably discharged from USAF Reserves in 1961.
In 1987, he retired from the Federal Aviation Administration as Supervisory Aviation Safety Inspector (Airworthiness), in Portland, Maine.
Sheppard currently holds three FAA airmen Certificates. They are; Private Pilot, Aviation Mechanic, and Senior Parachute Rigger.
Black Airmen in World War II
[Tuskegee, Macon County, Alabama]
[World War II]
Bennie J. McRae, Jr.