James K. Bair Jr.

February 23, 1914March 13, 2012

CDR James K. Bair, Jr. (USNR, Ret) died on March 13, 2012 at Sentara Leigh Hospital. He was 98 years old, a World War II veteran and a member of “The Greatest Generation.” Born February 23, 1914 in Turtle Creek, PA, he was the son of the late James K. and Ida M. Bair. He graduated from Randolph-Macon College, Ashland VA in June 1938 with a BS in Chemistry. While there, he served as President of Student Government, President of Theta Kappa Nu Fraternity and was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Honorary Leadership Society. He was one of the first inductees into the Randolph-Macon Athletic Hall of Fame, chosen for his ability and achievements in college football and baseball. In September 1965, he graduated from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. with a MA in Personnel Administration.

He entered active duty military service in September 1941 and was commissioned an Ensign in January 1942. Prior to that, he was an instructor of English, French and History as well as Assistant Athletic Director at Staunton Military Academy, Staunton, VA.

After completion of Naval Mine Warfare School, Yorktown, VA, duty assignments from 1942 to 1945 were Executive Officer, YMS-87; Officer in Charge, USS ROADRUNNER (AMC-32); Officer in Charge, USS MEMORABLE (AMC-89) and Commanding Officer, YMS-251. CDR Bair was recalled to active duty in June 1950. In January 1951, he graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA. Subsequent duty assignments included Intelligence Officer, Commander, Mine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Training Officer, Joint U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Bangkok, Thailand; staff of the Commander in Chief, Atlantic, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Commander in Chief, U.S. Western Atlantic Fleet; Executive Officer, USS HERMITAGE (LSD-34); staff of the Commander Amphibious Group TWO; Executive Officer, Enlisted Personnel Distribution Office, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Executive Officer, Naval Amphibious School Little Creek, Norfolk, VA. He retired July 1, 1968 after 22 years of active service.

CDR Bair was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, Naval Reserve Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star.

In August 1968, he began his next career as an Intelligence Research Specialist, Weapons Systems, at the Scientific and Technical Intelligence Center, Washington D.C.

He was life member of the Retired Officers Association.

CDR Bair was predeceased by his wife Mary C. Bair, son James K. Bair, III, brother, Dr. Charles A. Bair and wife Margaret and his sister Olive Smith.

He is survived by his daughter Bonnie Bair White, son-in-law Edward R. White, nephew Charles M. Bair (Carole), Thousand Oaks, CA; niece Beverly Menham, Pittsburg, PA; nephew Robert J. Smith, Vancouver, WA; niece Mary Jane Emmons (John), Marlinton WV; niece Fran Braunbeck (“Brauny”), Suwanne, GA and many grand-nieces and –nephews.

The family would like to thank the following for their outstanding, dedicated care and support: Dr. Edwin Robey and staff of Urology of Virginia, Dr. Janice Williams and staff of Visiting Physicians Association (VPA), Phyllis Beale, Always Best Care Hampton Roads Senior Services and Sentara Palliative Care specialists.

Friends are invited to attend a graveside service with full military honors at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, 6329 E. Virginia Beach Blvd., Norfolk VA 23502 on Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 11:00am.

Smith and Williams, Norview Chapel is in charge of arrangements.


  • Graveside Service Saturday, March 17, 2012

James K. Bair Jr.

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March 15, 2012

I am very sorry for your loss, with love and respect, Judith Rutherford