Major General James D. Kellim
Retired March 1, 1990. Died Feb. 25, 2010.
Major General James D. Kellim is deputy chief of staff for operations, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. He is responsible for all worldwide operations for the command, which include deployment and employment of U.S. combat forces and their support equipment; logistical resupply of these forces; aeromedical evacuation; presidential airlift; aerial search and rescue of downed flyers; U.S. Air Force special operations forces; and other missions assigned by the Department of Defense.
General Kellim was born in 1936, in Pocahontas, Ark., and graduated from Delaplaine (Ark.) High School in 1954. He received a bachelor's degree in accounting, management and marketing from Memphis State University in 1958, and a master's degree in management from Auburn University in 1971. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1965, Air Command and Staff College in 1971 and the Army War College in 1976.
He was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program and entered the U.S. Air Force in October 1958 with an assignment to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. General Kellim attended undergraduate navigator training at Harlingen Air Force Base, Texas, from November 1958 to July 1959, and electronic warfare officer training at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., until April 1960. The general remained at Keesler as an instructor in the Electronic Warfare Officer School until attending pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas, in June 1963. He graduated from pilot training in June 1964 and was assigned to the 41st Military Airlift Squadron at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flying C-130E's and C-141A's. In May 1968 he was selected as a member of the initial cadre for the C-9A aeromedical evacuation aircraft and served at Scott Air Force Base from June 1968 until July 1970.
After graduating from Air Command and Staff College in June 1971, the general was assigned to the Republic of Vietnam, serving at Cam Ranh Bay and Tan Son Nhut air bases, flying C-7A's. During this tour of duty, he also served as a squadron operations officer and commander of the 310th Tactical Airlift Squadron. He returned to the United States in September 1972 and was assigned to Military Airlift Command headquarters, Scott Air Force Base, in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, where he served in the Current Operations Division, successively as director of special assignment airlift missions, director of airlift operations, chief of the Capabilities Branch, and chief of the Resource Management Branch. During this tour of duty he concurrently maintained aircraft commander status in T-39s.
After graduating from the Army War College in July 1976, General Kellim was assigned to the 62nd Military Airlift Wing, McChord Air Force Base, Wash., as assistant deputy commander for operations until August 1977, when he became deputy commander for operations. In June 1978 he was assigned as wing vice commander and in February 1979 he assumed command of the wing.
From June 1980 until August 1981 General Kellim represented the Military Airlift Command as senior representative for C-X (now designated C-17) source selection. He subsequently was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in the Office of the Inspector General as chief, Office of Review and Oversight. In March 1982 the general was named vice commander of the Lowry Technical Training Center at Lowry Air Force Base, Colo. He served as commander of the Air Reserve Personnel Center, Denver, from May 1983 to July 1985, when he returned to Washington, D.C., as vice commander of the Military Traffic Management Command. In August 1986 he became inspector general for Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base. He assumed duties as the MAC/DO in June 1987.
The general is a command pilot with more than 6,700 flying hours, including 328 combat hours in the Republic of Vietnam. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
He was promoted to major general April 1, 1987, with same date of rank.