M. James (Jim) Stober
American Legion Post 480 Commander 2013 – 2015
- Lieutenant Colonel
- Served: June 1964 to June 1994
- Vietnam 1972, Desert Shield 1990
- Command Pilot
- Air Medal (2)
Jim was born August 23, 1946 in Winner South Dakota. His natural father passed when Jim was 22 months old. Jim and his brother Herb were raised by foster parents Mae and Bill Albright in the Southeast Wisconsin village of Rochester. After Jim’s brother’s death in 1969, he began legal proceeding to adopt the Albrights.
Jim attended Rochester Grade School and Waterford High School where he graduated in 1964. After High School Jim was admitted to the USAF Academy preparatory school and the following year became a Cadet at the Air Force Academy class of 1969. After graduation from the Academy he entered USAF pilot training.
Jim served six years on active duty in the Air Force flying the KC-135, an aircraft used for inflight refueling. During active duty he served in Southeast Asia flying the “tankers” in 1972 out of Tahkli Royal Thai Air Force Base. His crew refueled aircraft over all Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. During this time he was awarded two Air Medals.
After departing active duty, in addition to his civilian career, Jim continued serving as a pilot in the Air Force Reserve. His unit was the 95th Tactical Airlift Squadron which was part of the 440th Tactical Airlift Wing at General Mitchell Field, Milwaukee. He flew as a crew member on the C-130 Hercules (an Air Force transport aircraft). During his 20 years of service in the 440th, Jim flew missions over the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East. In 1990 he flew in the Middle East as part of Operation Desert Shield, the precursor to Desert Storm. The mission of Desert Shield was to build caches of equipment and supplies throughout the area in preparation for Desert Storm.
Jim retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1994 after 30 years of uniformed service. He is a Command Pilot and a retired Lieutenant Colonel. One of Jim’s fondest recollections is giving the oath of allegiance to his son James at James’ graduation from the Air Force Academy. That memory is second only to his fond memories of the men and women he had the opportunity to serve with during his Air Force career.
Jim is pleased to have his name on the Wilderness Veterans Memorial beside his father Mell, brother Herbert and son James. God bless America and keep our soldiers, airmen, and sailors safe.