Home Escambia County Escambia County Recognizes Feb. 11 as General Daniel “Chappie” James Day

Escambia County Recognizes Feb. 11 as General Daniel “Chappie” James Day

District 3 Commissioner Lumon May presents the proclamation for General Daniel Chappie James Day to Ellis Jones of the Chappie James Museum of Pensacola.
Image from Escambia County Community and Media Relations

At the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Thursday, Feb. 10, the board unanimously voted to proclaim Feb. 11, 2022 as “General Daniel ‘Chappie’ James Day.” General James was honored posthumously on his 102nd birthday, recognizing the lifetime of achievements of an individual who pursued and attained excellence during his life.

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Born on Feb. 11, 1920, in Pensacola’s East Side neighborhood, General James attended the school developed by his mother, Mrs. Lillie Ana James. He later graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and enrolled at Tuskegee Institute. From there, he went on to become the first African American four-star officer in the U.S. Air Force. General James was a decorated fighter pilot who earned his Army Air Corps wings in 1943 at Tuskegee Army Air Field, training pilots for the all-black 99th Pursuit Squadron during World War II. General James flew 101 combat missions in Korea and 78 missions in Vietnam. In 1975, he was promoted to the four-star rank of General and assigned as Commander in Chief of NORAD/ADCOM at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. General James died tragically of a heart attack at age 58, just three weeks after his retirement from the Air Force.

On Nov. 7, 2000, the National Register of Historic Places declared his childhood home, located at 1606 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, a historical site. On June 6, 2018, the home officially opened as the Chappie James Museum. The General Daniel “Chappie” James Flight Academy is located at 1608 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

Learn more about the Chappie James Museum here.

“Escambia County is honored to have had General James as a resident, leader and inspiration in our community,” said District 3 Commissioner Lumon May. “It’s my pleasure to give this proclamation during Black History Month. We thank General James for his service to our country and for his lasting impact in Escambia County.”