James Augustine Judge Jr., a career Air Force officer and bomber pilot who flew in the Pacific and China-Burma-India theaters and later participated in the historic Berlin Airlift, died of cardiovascular disease Aug. 15 at Summit Park Health and Rehabilitation Center in Catonsville. He was 86.
Colonel Judge was born and raised in Lawrence, Mass. He was a 1940 graduate of Central Catholic High School in Lawrence and attended seminary before enlisting in the Army Air Forces in 1942.
Trained as a bomber pilot, he was sent to the Pacific, where he flew B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell and B-29 Superfortress bombers.
"His B-29 was named 'Lady Be Good,' " said a daughter, Dr. Susan I.V. Judge of Catonsville.
Colonel Judge was on a bombing run on Aug. 6, 1945, when all of the B-29s en route to Japanese targets were told to turn back.
"This left the way open for the Enola Gay mission to Hiroshima," said Dr. Judge. "He said there were three squadrons on Tinian at the time - they all knew there was something different about the one - but that no one knew what."
Colonel Judge also flew "The Hump," the treacherous route over the Himalayas.
His World War II decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross with five Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal.
He was called back to active duty during the Berlin Airlift. Colonel Judge decided to remain in the Air Force and became a career officer in the Strategic Air Command. He flew until 1967, when he was 45 and required to stop flying.
He served in England, Los Angeles and Vietnam, where he was chief of the concepts and doctrine division with the 7th Air Force, and managed the accelerated withdrawal of the Air Force from Southeast Asia.
He retired in 1972 with the rank of lieutenant colonel, and his decorations included the Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.
From the early 1970s until the 1980s, he worked in sales at Circular Advertising in Baltimore, later Harte-Hanks Inc.
The Catonsville resident was a communicant of St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Catonsville.
Plans for a memorial Mass were incomplete yesterday.
Also surviving are his wife of 60 years, the former T. Isabel Dumler; another daughter, Teresa F. Molino of Timonium; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
- Frederick N. Rasmussen