James C. Downing Jr. had an insatiable love of aviation from a young age. He obtained his Private Pilots Certificate in 1963. After completing the qualifying testing, he enlisted in the U.S. Army for the Warrant Officer Helicopter Flight Training Program. While in the U.S. Army Downing maintained a detailed personal journal of all his day-to-day activities, combat missions, military tactics and inner personal emotions. He narrowly escaped the hands of death on multiple daring tactical emergency combat missions and witnessed some of the most harrowing valiant recues and the most gruesome side of death. Following Downing's tour in Korea and Vietnam, he continued his entire career as a leader in aviation.
Along the way he completed his dream of finishing his education. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Logistics from Weber State College in Utah. During that period, he also joined the “Society of Logistics Engineers (SOLE).” In 1984 he completed the requirements for the “Certified Professional Logistics (CPL) Certification. During his General Dynamics assignment at Eglin AFB, Florida, he earned a Master of Aeronautical Science (MAS) Degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU).
Upon graduation in 1994 he was invited to be an Adjunct Professor in the ERAU Eglin AFB Center. He continued to instruct at various locations for the next 20 years. He was one of the first instructors that taught ERAU online courses on the Internet. He taught his last course in Texas in 2014.
After 38 years of service in the field of aviation, he retired on his birthday, in Fort Worth, Texas. Since his retirement he has worked on this manuscript, “The Second Team”, transcribing his journals from Korea and Iran, and even writing his first fictional novel. He and his wife, Carol, are actively engaged in their lives at church and continue to seek truth through their Biblical research and studies. Downing is a religious scholar and enjoys sharing his in-depth articles with family and close friends.