James Claiborne

James Claiborne
Date of birth: April 20, 1919
War or conflict: World War II
Dates of service: 1942 to 1946
Hometown: Coleman, Texas
Theater and location of service: Stateside
Branch: Army Air Corps
Rank: Sergeant
Specialty: Link trainer instructor
Lives in: Clovis

In his words: After attending Randolf Army Air Base for training, Claiborne began working as an instructor.

He was responsible for training pilot cadets on instrument flying for BT-13 airplanes. One of 50 instructors, they worked at a fast pace to get the students through the basic level of the course and into battle.

Working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, the instructors taught 800 cadets in each 12-week session, receiving three days off every six weeks.

After two years, the training center was closed and Claiborne was sent to Altus, Okla., to train students in the advanced portion of flying.

Claiborne continued to train air cadets throughout his enlistment, serving at bases in Texas and California.

Veterans profiles are a weekly feature. To submit a profile, contact CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson at 763-6991 or by e-mail at: sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com