BRIGADIER GENERAL JAMES M. RHODES JR.
Brigadier General James M. Rhodes, Jr. (Ret) of Carlsbad, CA passed away after a struggle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Garrie Lynn Rhodes, his brother, Harold W. Rhodes, his children, James M. Rhodes, IV, Joni McHugh, and Jeffrey Rhodes, and step-daughters Robin Assouad and Katherine Valenza. General Rhodes was born in Santa Monica, CA. He was distinguished graduate of the first class of the Air Force Academy. General Rhodes participated in the first attack on an operational surface-to-air missile site in Hanoi, North Vietnam. On his last of 65 missions, General Rhodes sank two North Vietnamese cutters while protecting his wingman who had been shot down over the Gulf of Tonkin. General Rhodes spent the next five years at Edwards AFB, first as a test pilot, instructor, and program manager of the rocket-powered NF-104A Starfighter. He received the 1969 David C. Schilling Award “For the most outstanding contribution in the field of flight.” General Rhodes served as a Command Director at NORAD and then finished his career back in the F-15 as the Commander of the 23rd Air Division. He ended his career as a command pilot with over 4,000 hours and 350 combat missions. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. Jim was a proud member and served 3 times as national CINCRAT of the Red River Valley Fighter Pilot Association. Jim also enjoyed his memberships in the Old Bold Pilots Association, Quiet Birdmen, Dandelions, and the Palomar Pacific Men’s Chorus. He will be remembered as a great father, husband, and wingman.