Jim enlisted in the Army in 1967. He graduated from Training Group as a Special Forces Medic in 1968 and was assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group at Ft. Bragg. In 1969 he was reassigned to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam where he served with B-36 (3rd Mobile Strike Force) under then-Major O. Lee Mize (MOH). He served first as a medic, then as a company commander in the 2nd Battalion (A-362). His last operation with B-36 was Bull Run II, during which the war's largest cache (almost 170 tons) of enemy munitions and supplies was captured. Jim left the Army in 1970 as a SSG (E-7). His awards included the CMB, Bronze Star w/V, ARCOM w/V, and Purple Heart, among others.
After returning from Vietnam Jim graduated from Humboldt State University in Northern California with a degree in forestry. He worked as a Professional Forester, first with Arcata Redwood, before starting his own successful business, Freelance Forestry. He served on the Humboldt Co. Planning Commission in the 1980s and was commander of American Legion Post #274 in 1989. Jim also had many hobbies—woodworking, gardening, shooting—and could fix anything. He was an avid military historian and treasured the brotherhood he shared with fellow veterans, near and far.
Jim is survived by his wife of 43 years, Jan Sorensen, of McKinleyville, CA and daughter, Ginny, of Portland, OR; his brothers in Special Forces Chapter 89; and many other relatives and friends. A memorial will be held at the Northern California Veteran’s Cemetery in Igo, CA.