James “Agony” Anthony



Preferred Name:
James

Nickname/Call Sign: Agony

Date of Birth: April 23, 1934 (December 22, 1969)

Highest Military Grade Held: Major

Hometown: Gainesville, GA

Biography

James “Agony” Anthony died while flying an F-111 at Nellis AFB in Nevada on December 22, 1969. Reports say that his mission was the operational test of all operational requirements. At the time of the accident, he was doing the conventional weapons delivery test. The F-111 had a 20mm Gatling gun and carried the normal conventional weapons. To get more exposure to each weapon and delivery the 474th was asked to fly some missions. Jim and Tom (Mack) were on a normal medium angle 2.75 rocket delivery pass on a controlled range at Indian Springs when the center box section of their F-111 failed and the wing folded and separated. The range officer said the module separated “normally” and was attempting to right itself and fly up when it struck the ground. As a result of this accident, the F-111 was grounded for around 9 months. All F-111s were required to go through a cold proof testing conducted at Waco, Texas. Every F-111 that I flew after that had write-ups in the 781s noting various cracks, etc found during the testing.

Friends Remember:

  • I do remember Agony.  I was at Lakenheath with him for most of his tour there.  We were in the same squadron. Jim Wiltjer
  • I knew Jim “Agony” Anthony well.  He was our Ops guy at the 614 TFS in ’67-68.  Very well liked! Killed with my brother on the range at Nellis. Jim Mack
  • I knew Jim Anthony.  Not only did I fly the Hun in the 615 TFS at Phan Rang with him but I had known him long before that.  We either met in Squadron Officers School in 1962 or before that in Air Training Command. Jim stopped by and saw me several times at Norton AFB, CA when he was flying the F-111 at Nellis.  (After Vietnam) The last time was just before Christmas and he was taking his family to Disneyland.  A few weeks later a wing came off his F-111 when he was pulling out of a dive and he was killed. He was a great guy and a great pilot. Al Gatto
  • I knew Jim Anthony. We flew F-100s at the same time but not from the same wing. Seems like he was in the 48th TFW at RAF Lakenheath UK when I was in the 20th TFW at RAF Wethersfield (around ’64-’67). We probably met at Wheelus AB, Libya. He was one of the good guys.  I remember his last flight. I was stationed at Nellis AFB from April ’68 until April ’73 and assigned to the 422 FWS, 57th FWW. Our mission was the operational test of all operational requirements. At the time of the accident, we were doing the conventional weapons delivery test. The F-111 had a 20mm Gatling gun and carried the normal conventional weapons. To get more exposure to each weapon and delivery we asked the 474th to fly some missions. Jim and Tom were on a normal medium angle 2.75 rocket delivery pass on a controlled range at Indian Springs when the center box section of their F-111 failed and the wing folded and separated. As I remember, the range officer said the module separated “normally” and was attempting to right itself and fly up when it struck the ground. As a result of this accident, the F-111 was grounded for around 9 months. All F-111s were required to go through a cold proof testing conducted at Waco, Texas. I recall every F-111 that I flew after that had write-ups in the 781s noting various cracks, etc found during the testing. Gave you a warm feeling. Tommy Sanford
  • Jim Anthony was my F-111 instructor at Nellis in the fall of 1969. He was an excellent instructor and a great guy. I left Nellis for Cannon in December 69 and was not there when the wing failed.  Herb Meyer
  • Super guy, great pilot, a great mentor with unlimited potential. I remember hearing about the F-111 crash. As I recall, the glove area failed and a wing separated. Wasn’t the only time that it happened in the early days of the 111. The aircraft was grounded several times due to the same structural failure. Tragic losses of some great people. Jim Martin

Units Assigned

  • 1964-1967 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England (F-100)
  • 1967-1968 Tuy Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100)
  • 4/1968-12/1969 422 Fighter Weapons Squadron/57th Fighter Weapons Wing, Nellis AFB, NV (F-111)
    Died while flying the F-111 at Nellis on 12/22/1969

Awards

Distinguished Flying Cross (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze Star
Air Medal (with 3 Silver Oak Leaf Clusters)
Army Commendation Medal
AF Combat Readiness
National Defense Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Award
Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with Palm)

Flight Info

F-100
F-111

Military Education

  • MS Systems Management, AFIT (Residence)
  • WPAFB, OH – 1974

Civilian Education

  • AB Math Washington Univ, St. Louis, MO ROTC
  • AB Math Washington Univ, St. Louis, MO ROTC-1965

On 22 December 1969, F-111A 67-0049, assigned to the 428th TFS of the 474th TFW, crashed and was destroyed. The mission had been the operational testing of rockets on the Nellis ranges. During a rocket delivery recovery, a wing of the F-111A completely detached in flight. The highly experienced crew of Maj Thomas Mack and Maj James Anthony were killed after the unsuccessful out-of-module-limits ejection from the rapidly rolling, out of control aircraft.

Biography

Biography

James “Agony” Anthony died while flying an F-111 at Nellis AFB in Nevada on December 22, 1969. Reports say that his mission was the operational test of all operational requirements. At the time of the accident, he was doing the conventional weapons delivery test. The F-111 had a 20mm Gatling gun and carried the normal conventional weapons. To get more exposure to each weapon and delivery the 474th was asked to fly some missions. Jim and Tom (Mack) were on a normal medium angle 2.75 rocket delivery pass on a controlled range at Indian Springs when the center box section of their F-111 failed and the wing folded and separated. The range officer said the module separated “normally” and was attempting to right itself and fly up when it struck the ground. As a result of this accident, the F-111 was grounded for around 9 months. All F-111s were required to go through a cold proof testing conducted at Waco, Texas. Every F-111 that I flew after that had write-ups in the 781s noting various cracks, etc found during the testing.

Friends Remember:

  • I do remember Agony.  I was at Lakenheath with him for most of his tour there.  We were in the same squadron. Jim Wiltjer
  • I knew Jim “Agony” Anthony well.  He was our Ops guy at the 614 TFS in ’67-68.  Very well liked! Killed with my brother on the range at Nellis. Jim Mack
  • I knew Jim Anthony.  Not only did I fly the Hun in the 615 TFS at Phan Rang with him but I had known him long before that.  We either met in Squadron Officers School in 1962 or before that in Air Training Command. Jim stopped by and saw me several times at Norton AFB, CA when he was flying the F-111 at Nellis.  (After Vietnam) The last time was just before Christmas and he was taking his family to Disneyland.  A few weeks later a wing came off his F-111 when he was pulling out of a dive and he was killed. He was a great guy and a great pilot. Al Gatto
  • I knew Jim Anthony. We flew F-100s at the same time but not from the same wing. Seems like he was in the 48th TFW at RAF Lakenheath UK when I was in the 20th TFW at RAF Wethersfield (around ’64-’67). We probably met at Wheelus AB, Libya. He was one of the good guys.  I remember his last flight. I was stationed at Nellis AFB from April ’68 until April ’73 and assigned to the 422 FWS, 57th FWW. Our mission was the operational test of all operational requirements. At the time of the accident, we were doing the conventional weapons delivery test. The F-111 had a 20mm Gatling gun and carried the normal conventional weapons. To get more exposure to each weapon and delivery we asked the 474th to fly some missions. Jim and Tom were on a normal medium angle 2.75 rocket delivery pass on a controlled range at Indian Springs when the center box section of their F-111 failed and the wing folded and separated. As I remember, the range officer said the module separated “normally” and was attempting to right itself and fly up when it struck the ground. As a result of this accident, the F-111 was grounded for around 9 months. All F-111s were required to go through a cold proof testing conducted at Waco, Texas. I recall every F-111 that I flew after that had write-ups in the 781s noting various cracks, etc found during the testing. Gave you a warm feeling. Tommy Sanford
  • Jim Anthony was my F-111 instructor at Nellis in the fall of 1969. He was an excellent instructor and a great guy. I left Nellis for Cannon in December 69 and was not there when the wing failed.  Herb Meyer
  • Super guy, great pilot, a great mentor with unlimited potential. I remember hearing about the F-111 crash. As I recall, the glove area failed and a wing separated. Wasn’t the only time that it happened in the early days of the 111. The aircraft was grounded several times due to the same structural failure. Tragic losses of some great people. Jim Martin
Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 1964-1967 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England (F-100)
  • 1967-1968 Tuy Hoa AB, Vietnam (F-100)
  • 4/1968-12/1969 422 Fighter Weapons Squadron/57th Fighter Weapons Wing, Nellis AFB, NV (F-111)
    Died while flying the F-111 at Nellis on 12/22/1969

Awards

Distinguished Flying Cross (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze Star
Air Medal (with 3 Silver Oak Leaf Clusters)
Army Commendation Medal
AF Combat Readiness
National Defense Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Award
Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with Palm)

Flight Info

F-100
F-111

Military Education

  • MS Systems Management, AFIT (Residence)
  • WPAFB, OH – 1974

Civilian Education

  • AB Math Washington Univ, St. Louis, MO ROTC
  • AB Math Washington Univ, St. Louis, MO ROTC-1965
Photos
Headed West

On 22 December 1969, F-111A 67-0049, assigned to the 428th TFS of the 474th TFW, crashed and was destroyed. The mission had been the operational testing of rockets on the Nellis ranges. During a rocket delivery recovery, a wing of the F-111A completely detached in flight. The highly experienced crew of Maj Thomas Mack and Maj James Anthony were killed after the unsuccessful out-of-module-limits ejection from the rapidly rolling, out of control aircraft.