James B. Busey IV

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James Buchanan Busey IV
James B Busey IV.jpg
Admiral James B. Busey IV in May 1986
Born (1932-10-02) October 2, 1932 (age 86)
Peoria, Illinois
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1952–1989
Commands heldVice Chief of Naval Operations
NAS Lemoore
Battles/warsCold War
Vietnam War
AwardsNavy Cross
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Legion of Merit (5)
Distinguished Flying Cross (3)
Bronze Star Medal

Admiral James Buchanan Busey IV (born October 7, 1932) is a retired United States Navy four star admiral.[1] He served as Vice Chief of Naval Operations, from 1985 to 1987 and as Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe from 1987 to 1989.

Early years[edit]

James Buchanan Busey IV was born on October 7, 1932 in the city of Peoria, Illinois. In January 1952, Busey entered the U.S. Navy and attended the basic training at Boot Camp of Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. In March 1953, Busey was chosen to Aviation Cadet Training Program at Pensacola, Florida.

During the years 1967, Busey served at various Naval posts, including Naval Air Station Cecil Field or Naval Air Station Jacksonville. In July 1964, Busey attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and earned there his BS and MBA degrees.

Vietnam War[edit]

In January 1967, Busey was transferred to the U.S. Attack Squadron 163 ("Saints") and served as a pilot in Vietnam War. During combat near Hanoi, North Vietnam, Busey commanded the group of six aircraft with the task of bombing the Hanoi thermal power plant.

Despite the damage of Busey´s aircraft by North Vietnamese Anti-Aircraft guns, he regained control of his plane and continued his mission. Busey destroyed the target and returned to USS Oriskany. For this action, Busey received the Navy Cross.[2]

His other decorations from Vietnam War, including Legion of Merit with "V" Device, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, Air Medal or Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device.


After retiring from the navy, he served as the chief administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration from 1989 to 1991.[3] He then served as United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation from 1991 to 1992. Afterwards, he became a board member at Curtiss-Wright until 2008.[4]


Naval Aviator Badge.jpg
Oak leaf cluster, bronze.svgOak leaf cluster, bronze.svg Award star (gold).pngAward star (gold).png "V" device, gold.svg Award star (gold).pngAward star (gold).pngAward star (gold).pngAward star (gold).png
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Award numeral 5 golden.pngAward numeral 2.pngAward numeral 0.png
"V" device, gold.svg Award star (gold).pngAward star (gold).pngAward star (gold).png
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Gold star
Naval Aviator Badge
1st Row Navy Cross
2nd Row Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters Navy Distinguished Service Medal with two gold award stars Legion of Merit with four Gold Stars and "V" Device
3rd Row Distinguished Flying Cross with two Gold Stars Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device Air Medal with gold award numeral 5 and bronze Strike/flight numeral 20
4th Row Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three Gold Stars and "V" Device Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with "V" Device Navy Unit Commendation with one bronze service star
5th Row Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with two bronze Stars Navy Expeditionary Medal China Service Medal
6th Row National Defense Service Medal with one bronze Star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal with six service stars
7th Row Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon Navy Distinguished Service Order 2nd Class Vietnam Gallantry Cross with one Gold Star
8th Row Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal 1st Class Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Award Vietnam Campaign Medal


  1. ^ "Public papers of the Presidents of the United States, Volume 2"
  2. ^ "Valor awards for James Buchanan Busey IV – Hall of Valor". militarytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  3. ^ "Larger role for aviation center" The Telegraph (Nashua). 20 December 1989
  4. ^ http://ir.curtisswright.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=308067

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
T. Allan McArtor
Federal Aviation Administrator
Succeeded by
Thomas C. Richards