ACA is saddened to report that Major Gen (ret) James L. Hobson, Jr. has taken his last flight. Gen Hobson commanded Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Hurlburt Field, Florida from July 1994 to July 1997. During his command, AFSOC operated one wing, three flying groups and a Special Tactics Group with more than 100 aircraft and 11,900 personnel assigned worldwide.
As 8th SOS Commander, Gen Hobson courageously led the airfield seizure and rescue of Americans at Point Salines Airport, Grenada in Operation URGENT FURY. His efforts resulted in being awarded the 1983 Mackay Trophy, for the most meritorious flight of the year. Hobson became the Commander of the 8th SOS prior to the crisis in Grenada. After his heroic actions in Operation URGENT FURY, he and others were personally thanked by President Reagan. Gen Hobson also served as the Vice and then Commander of 39th Special Operations Wing at Eglin AFB, FL. After promotion to Brigadier General in 1989, Gen Hobson became the Vice Commander of 23rd AF at Hurlburt Field, and assisted in the planning of the Panama invasion in December 1989. He commanded the 322nd Airlift Division, Ramstein AB, Germany and orchestrated the massive logistical air bridge through Europe in support of Operation DESERT STORM. Next, he commanded the 435th Airlift Wing at Rhein-Main AB, Germany and then became the Director of Operations and Transportation at Air Mobility Command.
Major General James Hobson retired in 1997 as a command pilot with 6,850 military flying hours. He is a member of the Air Commando Hall of Fame and the USSOCOM Commando Hall of Honor. RIP sir and blessings to spouse Diane, family, and friends.