Phil McKim, Jim’s brother brought Joan Robertson the information
contained below, which she extrapolated into the information contained
James Warren McKim – Born January 22 1922, died March 11, 2007
Jim was born in Bundy, Montana to James B. and Ora May Ebersole
McKim. The family relocated the family to Oroville when Jim was
a child and he graduated from Oroville Union High School in the
Class of 1939. Jim worked in the fruit orchards, the Chocolate Shop
(who remember Mr. Harris and that wonderful place of his?), and
a local mortuary, earning money to travel and take photographs.
Jim served in the Army Air Corps during WWII as a photographer charged
with capturing bomb strikes for bomb raid planning. Many men’s lives
were spared because Jim installed cameras that were remotely operated
and replaced the tail gunner (an assignment with a very short life
expectancy), resulting in reducing crew requirements and lightening
the weight load for each plane as well. His bomb group won many
honors including the Presidential citation for effective bombing
of strategic sites, such as rail yards, while sparing historic buildings
Jim was “mustered out” of the Army Air Corps at Beale Air Force
Base. Following his service, he remained active in his veteran’s
affiliation, the USAAF 319th Bomb Group.
After the war, Jim spent 16 years as a medical photographer beginning
at McChord Air Force Base. This included a time when wounded servicemen
were arriving from the Korean Conflict. Jim developed methods of
photographing their injuries to assist the medical teams to both
document and to repair the physical damage inflicted on these soldiers.
When he left his employment with the Air Force, he took a position
as head of the medical photography department of the University
of Washington for 10 years.
Jim spent considerable time at, and donated over 3,000 photos, to
the PIMA Air Museum in Tucson, AZ, over the last two years. The
photos were all from WWII and added substantially to the museum’s
extensive collection. He was interviewed extensively by museum staff
three months before his death in order to expand their knowledge
and understanding of the circumstances under which the WWII photos
Oroville Mercury Register, October 18, 1943
The air observers meeting at the Richvale school house Wednesday
night was poorly attended because of harvest conditions. Mrs. Geneieve
Lepper, air supervisor for this district from Oroville and Sgt.
Dodson, post inspector for northern California, were present and
explained the drill and emergency alerts. Mrs. Lepper, Sgt. Dodson,
and the chief observer, Arthur Peterson and his assistants, Wm.
Connor and Mrs. Connor and Guy Dougherty and Mrs. Dougherty enjoyed
homemade ice cream, cake and coffee at the Dougherty home after
Feather Falls News Report by Dorothy Biondo
Mrs. Jessie Owens is spending a short time in San Francisco, where
her husband, Eugene Owens, is stationed with the Sea Bees. Owens
expects to be sent overseas again in the near future.
Wounded in Solomons
Charles Miller, ships cook third class, United States Navy, a nephew
of Mrs. C. B. Wiebie, is recovering from shrapnel wounds at the
naval hospital at Treasure Island. Miller, was aboard one of the
first line destroyers in the Battle of the Solomons.
Stu’s Notes: James Warren McKim, American Hero, from Oroville
who served his country well for many years. Daryl Autrey did some
research on the 319th, they flew the B-26, fast, medium
bomber that I have read was hard to fly but a very good plane. I
think Joe Kennedy was killed in a B26 on a very secret mission.
The 319th flew from June 1942 to December 1945. They
fought all through North Africa, Europe and the Pacific. They also
flew B-25s and later A-26’s. The B-29’s in the Pacific used remote
control guns. Veterans Advocate and OVMPC member, Howard Gregg’s
Radio Show is now on Tuesday’s at 7:00pm, 107.1 FM on your dial.
Sadly, I must report that long time OVMPC member Dean Roundy has
passed away. Dean was a Veteran of WWII. He was a very quiet man
that was always there to lend a helping hand, he will be truly missed
by our group. Also OVMPC member Phil Laws is not well, but has the
will to put up a good fight. Phil served in the Pacific during WWII
flying in the Famous Avenger’s. He served on the U.S.S. Hornet at
one time. You can read more about the 319th at www.billsb-26marauder.org.