James T. Test was born in Dearborn, Michigan in 1941 and was raised in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1958 and, after completing Basic Training, he was sent to Chanute AFB to attend the Jet Instrument Trainer Operator course.
Completing the course in 1959 he was sent to Langley AFB, VA as a C-11 Jet Instrument Trainer operator. He remained there until April 1962 when he entered the Air Force Officer Candidate School at Lackland AFB, TX.
After OCS he attended Navigator training at Connelly AFB, TX (9/1962-6/1963), then Navigator Bomber training at Mather AFB, CA (7/63-6/64) and Castle AFB, CA (7/64-10/64).
Jim’s first operational assignment was at Wurtsmith AFB, MI as a B-52 Bomb/Nav Officer. He remained there from October 1964 until October 1967 before transferring to Little Rock AFB, AR (10/67-1970) as a B-58 Bomb/Nav Officer. From 1970 to 1972 he attended the AF Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH where he earned a Bachelor degree in Engineering.
After completing his degree, Jim was on his way to Ubon RTAFB with assignment to the 16th SOS as an AC-130A Fire Control Officer. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1973 he was assigned to McClellan AFB, CA as an engineer and while there he attended the University of Southern California to earn his Masters Degree.
He remained there until 1978 when he was assigned to the 5th Air Force Headquarters at Yokota AFB, Japan as Director of Command and Control. Jim’s three-year tour at Yokota ended in 1981 and he returned to the U.S. where he retired from the US Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel with 23 years of service.
Starting a civilian career is never fun and Jim tried U. S. Civil Service as a GM-14 grade engineer working at The Voice of America in Washington, DC from 1982-1984. Following this brief experience with Civil Service, he joined forces with the Beltway Bandits surrounding Washington, DC.
Jim took a year off from “consulting” in 1991 to go sailing. After a year of sailing from Canada to the Bahamas, he failed to return to work and considers himself an unemployed engineer.
He has found his current duty as grandfather in Solomons, MD as the most interesting and rewarding assignment. While his first wife, Connie, was with him in OCS, he later married Cathleen Schrader. He has three children. Jim’s awards include: the Meritorious Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal containing five clusters.
Jim and Cathy live on the water in Maryland and still enjoy sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. Cathy is a CPA and Jim volunteers with the USCG Auxiliary. Jim notes that his first wife, Connie, died of cancer in February 2003.