Army Aviation Hall of Fame 1989 Induction
CW4 James T. Burnette was inducted into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame for his extraordinary contributions as a leader, innovator, manager, and mentor in the aviation logistics field.
One of those rare "non-rated" Aviation Maintenance Officers who have routinely been the mainstay of aviation maintenance and supply operations, he devoted his entire 28 years of service to the not so glorious, behind-the-scenes world of aviation logistics.
His truly exceptional devotion to duty, superlative leadership, tenacity, and innovativeness produced dramatic improvements to fleet readiness, and most of all, the sustained professional respect of subordinates, peers, and superiors throughout Army Aviation.
An exceptional aviation mechanic, he quickly assumed demanding positions early in his career, being maintenance section chief of a VIP L-23 detachment and liaison to the USAF's Southern Air Material Area at Clark AFB, where he supervised contract maintenance and depot programs for all Army aircraft throughout the Far East.
Promoted to WO1 in 1963, Mr. Burnette deployed to Vietnam where with the 73rd Aviation Company, he established one of the first aviation support activities in USARV. Following a second tour as Detachment 5 Commander, A Company, 15th Transportation Battalion, his reputation became legendary because of his unit's flawless record on accidents or incidents attributed to material failure or aircraft maintenance oversight.
His later key positions included tours with the 11th Air Assault Division's 228th Hcptr Bn and the Cheyenne PMO in DA. He was a platform instructor and authored many POI while at U.S. Army Transportation School and the USA WO College at Ft. Rucker, prior to earning BS (Avn Repair Facility Management) and MA degrees.
During '70-'80, he distinguished himself as administrator of TWA's maintenance contract servicing all USA aircraft in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Africa. On his last active duty tour, he managed a theater level Intermediate/Limited Depot Facility in Europe where his initiatives resulted in great cost savings and efficiencies.