James Alan Abrahamson
|James Alan Abrahamson|
Lieutenant General James Alan Abrahamson
May 19, 1933 |
Williston, North Dakota
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1955-1989|
|Commands held||Strategic Defense Initiative Organization
4950th Test Wing
|Awards||Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3)
Air Medal (2)
|James Alan Abrahamson|
|Born||May 19, 1933
Williston, North Dakota
|Selection||1967 USAF MOL Group 3|
James Alan Abrahamson (born May 19, 1933) is an American retired general, a designated astronaut, director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, and successful businessman who was chairman of Oracle and as chairman of GeoEye transformed that company into the world's largest space imaging corporation.
Abrahamson was born in Williston, North Dakota, in 1933. He earned a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955 and a Master of Science in the same field from the University of Oklahoma in 1961. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1958, Air Command and Staff College in 1966, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1973.
Air Force Pilot in Southeast Asia
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program in November 1955 and completed pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, in May 1957. His initial operational assignments included flight instruction, flight test and aircraft maintenance positions with Air Training Command.
In August 1961, Abrahamson was assigned as spacecraft project officer on the VELA Nuclear Detection Satellite Program at Los Angeles Air Force Station, California. From October 1964 to August 1965, while assigned to the 428th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, he served two temporary tours of duty in Southeast Asia, where he flew 49 combat missions.
He graduated from Air Command and Staff College as a distinguished graduate in July 1966. He then attended the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and, upon graduation, served as an astronaut with the Air Force's Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program from August 1967 until the program was canceled in June 1969.
Abrahamson then served on the staff of the National Aeronautics and Space Council in the Executive Office of the President of the United States. In March 1971 he became manager of the TV-guided, air-to-ground Maverick missile program at Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. In June 1973 he assumed command of the 4950th Test Wing there.
In March 1974 Abrahamson was assigned as inspector general, Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. From May 1976 to July 1980 he served as director for the F-16 Multinational Air Combat Fighter Program, Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He then became deputy chief of staff for systems at Air Force Systems Command headquarters.
In November 1981 he was assigned as associate administrator for the Space Shuttle Program, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters, Washington, D.C. During his tenure,[when?] the Shuttle achieved 10 developmental and early operational launches, and demonstrated its operational capabilities by achieving the first satellite retrieval and repair mission.
Strategic Defense Initiative
He was promoted to lieutenant general July 21, 1982, with same date of rank.
Abrahamson was the first director Strategic Defense Initiative Organization starting April 1984. He retired from the Air Force on March 1, 1989.
- Rating: Command Pilot
- Flight Hours: more than 3,000
- Aircraft Flown:
Awards and decorations
|US Air Force Command Pilot Badge|
|Master Air Force Space and Missile Badge|
|Master Missile Operations Badge|
|Air Force Distinguished Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Meritorious Service Medal|
|Air Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Air Force Commendation Medal|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award|
|Air Force Organizational Excellence Award|
|National Defense Service Medal|
|Vietnam Service Medal with bronze service star|
|Air Force Longevity Service Award with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon|
|Vietnam Campaign Medal|
|Belgium Order of Leopold|
|The Netherlands' Order of Orange-Nassau, Member Medal|
|The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav|
|NASA Distinguished Service Medal|
- 1984 Received the General Bernard A. Schriever Award for outstanding achievement in support of Air Force missile and space programs
- 1986 Received the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Trophy for leadership and excellence in advancing space flight programs contributing to United States leadership in astronautics
- 1987 Honored as Man of the Year in Science and Technology from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation, Metropolitan Chapter, Washington, D.C.
- Received honorary doctorate degrees in engineering from New York University, Utah State University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Effective dates of promotion
|Lieutenant General||July 21, 1982|
Oracle and GeoEye Chairman & Vice-Chairman of the MSGI
He was Executive Vice President for Corporate Development for Hughes Aircraft Company from October 1989 to April 1992 and as President of the Transportation Sector for Hughes Aircraft Company from April 1992 to September 1992. From 1992 to 1995, he served as Chairman of Oracle Corporation.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2008)|
- Reuters.com. Reuters.com (2009-02-09). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.