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Lollar, James L.

James Leon Lollar was born on 23 August 1945 in Winona, Mississippi. He enlisted in the US Air Force in 1963 and trained as a Defensive Aerial Gunner on B52 Bombers. Staff Sergeant Lollar was flying out of Anderson Air Force Base with the 340 Bomb Squadron in Guam on a B52 in 1972. Staff Sergeant James Leon Lollar was a  B-52G Fire Control Operator near Quang Tri, South Vietnam on 17 December 1972. On that date, Sergeant Lollar was lead Fire Control Operator of a three-ship B-52 cell. Due to equipment malfunctions, Sergeant Lollar had to direct the other aircraft to the target area using his Fire Control System. Despite violent evasive maneuvers necessitated by accurate anti-aircraft fire from the ground, Sergeant Lollar successfully directed the aircraft to their assigned target.For his actions on this date, Sergeant James Lollar was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Three days later, Staff Sergeant James Leon Lollar  was participating in aerial flight as a Fire Control Operator near Hanoi, North Vietnam. On that date, as a crew member of a B-52 engaged in one of the largest conventional bombing raids ever amassed in the recent history of aerial warfare, Sergeant Lollar received significant battle damage to his aircraft as the result of extremely heavy hostile fire. Sergeant Lollar and his crew were targeted against massed supplies, communications equipment, and transportation lines in order to eliminate the aggressor's capacity to initiate an offensive and despite receiving heavy battle damage and incurring grave personal danger, Sergeant Lollar and his crew were able to destroy the target even though the loss of the aircraft was imminent. Sergeant Lollar was declared 'Missing in Action' as a result of his plane crashing. On 29 January 1973 his status was changed to 'Captured' based upon evidence out of North Vietnam. Technical Sergeant Lollar was returned to US military control on 29 March 1973 at Hanoi, North Vietnam. For his heroism during the bombing run on 20 December 1972, Sergeant James Lollar was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and for his service during captivity was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with V Device. Sergeant James Lollar later completed his college degree, attended the Air Force Officer Training School and was commissioned a second lieutenant. Captain James Lollar retired from the Air Force in 1982.