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Lt. Col. James T. Greshel, USAF, Retired

Jim Greshel


Lt. Col. James T. Greshel was born April 4, 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio State University in June, 1956 with a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering degree and a commission as a United States Air Force 2nd Lieutenant.

Entering active duty in June, 1957, he received Air Force Pilot wings in July, 1958. Assigned to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, he flew the B-47. In July, 1965 he was assigned to the 8th Tactical Bomb Squadron to fly combat over Vietnam in the B-57 Canberra. He completed 169 combat missions, including 43 over North Vietnam.

Jim was assigned to 53 WRS (Air Force Hurricane Hunters) as an Aircraft Commander and Chief, Aircrew Standardization. He flew over 80 missions into named tropical storms as well as weather reconnaissance in direct support of the Apollo 14, 15, 16 and 17 launches. In August, 1975 he became Chief of Plans and Senior Technical Officer at the Foreign Technology Divisions office in Japan where he collected and disseminated technical intelligence to military units and U.S. Embassies in the Far East.

In March, 1981 he was assigned as USAF Liaison Officer, Michigan Wing, Civil Air Patrol. With the goal of visiting every CAP unit in Michigan, his encouragement and support to the volunteers resulted in enhanced quality of their emergency services and cadet missions. In February, 1983, he became Director of Operations, Great Lakes Region, USAF Liaison Office. During his 28 year USAF career, he received many awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Meritorious Service Medals, 14 Air Medals and a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.

After his retirement from the Air Force in 1985, Jim joined the Michigan Department of Transportation, Bureau of Aeronautics as Administrator, Safety and Services Division. He initiated an enhanced program to provide all weather access to Michigan's airports. In June, 1987 he was appointed by the Aeronautics Commission to be point man with the newly formed Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame. He developed bylaws, and set criteria for its operation and has been a Trustee and Vice President for Administration since its inception.

Jim Greshel was enshrined on October 7, 2000 for his integrity, and achievements as a USAF officer, State Division Manager, and servant leader role in developing and operating Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame. He passed away October 1, 2015.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program