Sergeant (Separated) Jim Byers is a seven year Air Force veteran who didn't fly a sleek F-86 Sabre jet into "MiG Alley" to shoot down enemy planes during the Korean War. He was a statistical draftsman; one of more than 5.7 million "average Joes" who served there. "There was no glamour in what I did. I drew charts and flipped them at briefings," he said. "I knew I was helping do something important. I wasn't in the fight. But passing information was the next most important thing in Korea." In 1953 he left his mark. While visiting a soldier buddy near the front lines in Korea, he was invited to join a 15-man Army patrol. After a while, the point man found signs that enemy soldiers were in the area. Byers spotted the first Chinese soldier. A voice behind him yelled, "Shoot him before he shoots you. The Airman didn't freeze up, and within seconds the rest of the platoon opened fire on other Chinese soldiers. They killed several enemy combatants and suffered no casualties. After the platoon leader filed a report to headquarters, Byers bid his buddy good-bye and headed home for Osan.
Jim is retired and lives with his wife in Jamison, Pennsylvania. They have four grandchildren.