WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
The spotlight is not something that James “Jim Bob” Boyle ever sought out. He was much happier to toil behind the scenes, working hard to make sure the 442d Fighter Wing had vehicles available whenever, and for whatever, they were needed.
Boyle began his career with the 442d as a Transportation Specialist in 1987, helping the wing move from Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in Kansas City to Whiteman AFB. His career ended prematurely when he passed away from a cardiac event on October 11, 2020.
“He was integral in us moving from Richards-Gebaur to here,” said Lt. Col. Keith Yersak, the 442d Logistics Readiness Squadron commander. “He actually lined up the movement of that A-10 down, with the Chinooks.” Yersak was referring to the movement of a retired A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft, which was transported by CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from Richards-Gebaur to Whiteman.
Boyle had a hand in every airshow the wing put on, every Hawgsmoke gunnery competition they took part in, every family day and commander’s call. He ensured delivery of the stage and bleachers when distinguished visitors came to speak, and organized fleets of vehicles from all over Johnson County, Mo., to accommodate visits by inspection teams.
“About everything he did went above and beyond what was required,” said Chris Courter, another transportation specialist with the 442 LRS. “He didn’t settle for mediocre by any means.”
Everything Boyle did at work, he did in support of “Team Trans,” working with the 509th Bomb Wing and the 131st Bomb Wing transportation flights to ensure completion of the Total Force mission.
Boyle’s family does not yet have a memorial service planned, but should one occur, they intend to have a small family gathering in remembrance.
Jim Bob Boyle was the transportation backbone of the 442 FW for 33 years. His skill and expertise will be sorely missed. The thoughts and prayers of the entire wing go out to the Boyle family in this difficult time.