Joyce Chase and James Chase

Recorded August 17, 2021 Archived August 17, 2021 57:07 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ddv001079


Joyce Chase (60) interviews her father, James “Jim” Chase (88), about his time in the United States Army and Air Force.

Subject Log / Time Code

Jim (J) shares he served in the United States Air Force.
J says he was a captain in North Dakota and details his role in missiles during that stay.
J adds that when he entered the military, he was only scheduled to stay for four years, but he had to make a trade-off and work in missiles in order to be able to get his master’s degree.
J states he started his Air Force career in November of 1954 in Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. He says his first duty station was in Kansas.
J shares he was raised in Baltimore, Maryland by his great aunt. He says they went to church every Sunday. J recalls speaking with one of his great aunt’s friend who assumed that he was not an officer because he is Black.
J explains that he chose to go to a college with an Army ROTC program because he did not want to go to war.
J details how he was able to switch from the Army to the Air Force.
J details how he met his wife. J says when he asked his father-in-law for his daughter’s hand in marriage, his father-in-law said he needed to let his daughter finish her education.
J says that when he was assigned his flight training in the Air Force, he had never been on an airplane before.
J says he got married in between trainings. He explains why equality in his marriage was and is important to him.
Jim details a scary flying experience
J says when he was in the Air Force, it was going through many changes. He says at the time, there weren’t many Black people in the Air Force, especially as an officer, and more particularly as a flying officer. J says he was the only Black pilot in his outfit of 200 people and there were no women. J recalls going to a cafe in Indianapolis where the waiter kept ignoring him. He says when he asked the waiter if he could have some service, the waiter said no, we don’t serve your kind here. J says he told the waiter, “and just think, someday I may have to give my life for a son of bitch like you.” J says he tried a different truck stop nearby where he was treated with respect as a customer.
J talks about his stay in Cape Newenham, Alaska in 1969.
J explains why he decided to stay in Alaska after his assignment. J says in total, he served four years in the Army ROTC, twenty years in the United Air Force, and is now in his thirty-seventh year in the Coast Guard.


  • Joyce Chase
  • James Chase


Partnership Type