USAF ROTORHEAD Members
James (Jim) W. Duffy, SMSgt USAF Retired
21 years 9 months 25 Days USAF.
Aug. 1961 – Aug. 1963 Otis AFB, MA., mechanic flying CC H-21 and CH-3B.
Aug. 1963 – Aug. 1965 Malmstrom AFB, MT., FE and CC CH-3B/C, H-19, UH-1F.
Aug. 1965 – Aug. 1966 FE Warren AFB, WY., Flying CC UH-1F.
Aug. 1966 – Feb. 1967 20th Helicopter SQ, Tan Son Nhut, Viet Nam, FE CH-3C.
Feb. 1967 – Jan. 1968 FE Warren AFB, Flying CC UH-1F.
Feb. 1968 – Aug. 1968 Ubon, Thailand, FE HH-43B .
Sep. 1968 – Oct. 1968 Indian Springs AAF, NV., FE UH-1F.
Oct. 1968 – Mar. 1969 Wheelus AFB, Libya, FE HH-43B.
Mar. 1969 – Jul. 1970 Zaragoza AB, Spain, FE HH-43B.
Jul. 1970 – Jul. 1973 Bitburg AB, Germany, FE HH-43B/F.
Jul. 1973 – Sep. 1974 1550th CTWG, Hill AFB, UT., swing shift maint. supervisor CH/HH-3.
Sep. 1974 – Sep. 1975 NKP Thailand 56th SOW maint. supervisor CH-53C.
Oct. 1975 – Jan. 1976 1550th Hill AFB. UT., H-53 Maint. supervisor.
Jan. 1976 – Jun. 1978 NCOIC Helicopter maint. CH-3 and H-53, 6514th Flight Test SQ, Hill AFB, UT.
Jun. 1978 – Jun. 1979 Maint. supervisor HH-53, RAF Woodbridge, UK.
Jun. 1979 – Jun. 1981 Chief of Maint. Zaragoza AB., Spain UH-1N.
Jul. 1981 – Oct. 1982 Maint. Super. 388th TFW, Hill AFB, UT., F-16.
~ Final Flight 16 January 2019 ~
James Winston Duffy, USAF
April 13, 1943 – January 16, 2019
After five long years of fighting MLS and AML caused by Agent Orange, James Winston Duffy slipped gently away at 8:25 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.
James was born in Lincoln, Nebraska April 13, 1943, the son of John G. Duffy and Jean R. Duffy.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Regina Duffy, his sons James B. Duffy (Karen) and Benjamin L. Duffy (Kathrin) and daughter Angela M. Duffy. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Alora D. Duffy Preece, Brennon J. Duffy, Conall B. Duffy, Aziah I. Andrews, Xiomara H. Duffy, Syprus J. Duffy and Azalya B. Duffy. He was preceded in death by his parents, his half-brother John R. Duffy, his brother William L. Duffy and his sister Doris J. Duffy.
James joined the US Air Force on January 16, 1961 and married Regina B. Smith on August 12, 1961. The next 22 years were filled with moves every two years from state to state and then to Europe. They lived in Massachusetts, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Spain, England and Germany. He was also in Viet Nam twice and Thailand once. He also received an Associate Degree while in the Air Force.
James was always active. He liked buying and fixing cars, it didn’t matter old cars or news ones. He learned to fly planes and helicopters and became a licensed pilot of both after he retired from the Air Force. He was an excellent aircraft mechanic.
After he retired from the Air Force, he started his own business, Aviation’s Specialties, at Hinckley Airport in Ogden and built two hangars to use for his own business. He and his family built a garage at home to store cars and for a place to work on them, and then he and the family built a cabin at Sunridge.
James loved trivial, stupid jokes, and unusual facts, he loved to study the history of the country and wars. Every night he watched the news and argued with the TV about what they were wrong about.
He couldn’t miss a good auction and collected guns, old toys and models of planes. He belonged to AOPA and the NRA. Above all, he loved his family and tried to pass on all of his knowledge on fixing building and developing.
He flew everything from his Ercoupe to his Russian Yak. He loved fast cars and motorcycles. He always had a project going. This year he decided to fulfill his dream and he bought5 a new 2018 black Corvette, it is fast and he loved it.
He also had his fair share of mishaps, but figured any landing you can walk away from is a good landing regardless of how and where you landed.
James wrote the following, he wanted to tell his own story in his own way:
Brief Life Summary since 1961:
Joined Air Force 1961, attended helicopter maintenance school, Sheppard AFB, TX. Assigned to Otis AFB, MA as H-21 worked and flew as a crew member on CH-38 helicopter Aug. 63 assigned to Malmstrom AFB, MT as helicopter flight mechanic CH-3B, H-19 and UH-1F, first son born here Mar. 64. Aug. 64 assigned to F. E. Warren AFB, WY mechanic/flight mechanic UH-1F, 66-67 Flight Mechanic CH-3C (Jolly Green) 20th helicopter Sq. 14th. Air Commando Wing Saigon, Viet Nam in 67, assigned back to F.E. Warren AFB, WY and attended Escape and Evasion school Fairchild AFB, Spokane, WA. Jungle Survival school Clark AFB, Philippines Feb. 68 assigned to Air Rescue detachment as Flight Mechanic HH-43 B/F. Ubon, Thailand. Assigned to Indian Springs, NV as flight engineer UH-1F and flew in support of the Dept. of Defense Atomic Test Site and Air Force Weapons Test in 69 transferred to Wheelus AB, Libya as Flight Engineer HH-43B/F. Daughter born here Jan. 72. July of 73 went to Hill AFB, UT as HH-3 and CH-3C shift supervisor. In 74-75 to Nakhon Phanom as helicopter maintenance supervisor of CH-53s. Spent 18 days on USS Midway in support of the evacuation of Saigon, flying more than 2000 people out before and during the fall of Saigon. Flew from Midway to U-Tapao Thailand where we sling loaded F-5s and F-37s of the former Viet Nam Air Force to the Midway for transportation elsewhere. We returned to Nakhon Phanom, A few days later we were tasked with recovering the crew of the USS Mayaguez. We flew back to U-Tapao with nine helicopters but one crashed killing 23 aboard. I was scheduled to fly on that one but was bumped off at the last minute and flew down to U-Tapao on a C-130 that was carrying all of our maintenance equipment. This was a busy time. We had five helicopters shot down, recovered three of them. After spending a month there doing repairs I returned to NKP. They shipped our helicopters to Germany and I went to Hill AFB, UT and supervised maintenance on the H-53 helicopters for the 1550th Test and Training wing that was moved to Kirkland AFB, NM in early 76. I stayed a Hill in 6414 Test Sq. as Flight Chief for H-3 and H-53 helicopters until 1978 when I moved to FAF Bentwaters, UK as H-53 line chief 67th. Air Rescue SW, in 1979 I went back to Zaragoza, Spain as Maintenance Superintendent for the 67 Air Rescue detachment. HH-1N helicopters in 1981 I made Senior Master Sergeant and transferred to the 388th Fight Wing (F-16s) Hill AFB, UT. Early 1982, I went TDB to Cairo, West Egypt for four months as maintenance Supt F-16s. I retired from active duty 1 Nov. 1982. During active duty I was awarded Senior Aircrew Wings, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal Bronze Star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, 3 Air Force medals, AF Good Conduct medal w/6 OLC, AF Presidential Unit Citation, AF Outstanding Unit Award, Small arms expert marksmanship ribbon, NCO Professional Education Ribbon, ADF Expeditionary medal with/10 OLC (Viet Nam), Combat readiness medal, AF Longevity Service Ribbon with /4 OLC, National Defense Service Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal with 3 devices, Republic of Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry w/device, Republic of Viet Nam Campaign medal with 3 stars.
Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at Lindquist’s Roy Mortuary, 3333 West 5600 South. The family will meet with friends Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Tuesday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the mortuary.
The family would like to thank the Huntsman Cancer Hospital, especially Dr. Tibor Kovacsovics and Klasena Caballero, the University of Utah Hospital, the Farmington Huntsman Cancer Clinic and all of the doctors and nurses that treated him for the last two years. We would also like to thank Dr. Jason Stinnett of Utah Cancer Specialists, Dr. Michael Beus of Layton Tanner Clinic and Community Home Health Service.
~ GUEST BOOK ~
I’m very saddened by this news of Jim’s passing. Jim was a fellow USAF RotorHead and USAF helicopter Brother who served our country with pride and distinction. Rest in peace Brother. God comfort and protect the family and friends of James Winston Duffy…
Jim Burns, SMSgt. USAF (Retired), Navarre, FL