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Jim Byers

Jim Byers and his memorabilia from Korea.  He didn't fly a sleek F-86 Sabre jet into "MiG Alley" to shoot down enemy planes. In 1952, he was a draftsman, in the Korean War. One of more than 5.7 million "average Joes" who served there. 
But he left his mark and helped the Air Force win the air war.  "There was no glamour. I drew charts and flipped them at briefings," he said. "But I knew I was helping do something important."
At the time of the photo, he still believed that 49 years later. Proud of his one-year stint in Korea, he can still recall the little details of his tour. 

Once stateside, he noticed a "beautiful gal in a tight yellow sweater" who he says made his eyes pop out. She was to become Mrs. Kathryn Byers. 

In 1959 he got out to start his family. They had four children and got to use his G.I. Bill to for his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering, and then began work for the Navy in 1963.

The Byerses retired to Jamison, Pa., and have four grandchildren.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lance Cheung)

Jim Byers and his memorabilia from Korea. He didn't fly a sleek F-86 Sabre jet into "MiG Alley" to shoot down enemy planes. In 1952, he was a draftsman, in the Korean War. One of more than 5.7 million "average Joes" who served there. But he left his mark and helped the Air Force win the air war. "There was no glamour. I drew charts and flipped them at briefings," he said. "But I knew I was helping do something important." At the time of the photo, he still believed that 49 years later. Proud of his one-year stint in Korea, he can still recall the little details of his tour. Once stateside, he noticed a "beautiful gal in a tight yellow sweater" who he says made his eyes pop out. She was to become Mrs. Kathryn Byers. In 1959 he got out to start his family. They had four children and got to use his G.I. Bill to for his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering, and then began work for the Navy in 1963. The Byerses retired to Jamison, Pa., and have four grandchildren. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lance Cheung)

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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.