Army Aviation Hall of Fame 2007 Induction - Atlanta, GA
Retired MG James "Jim" H. Patterson served his nation and Army aviation for over 28 years in uniform, and then continued to serve in key defense industry leadership positions after retirement.
Patterson served as the assistant division commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; then deputy commanding general at the Army Aviation School and Center, Fort Rucker, Ala., where approximately one half of his tenure was spent as the acting commanding general; as the director of Battlefield System Integration for the Army; and commanded the 6th Air Cav. Bde.
Patterson's career included a unique blend of cavalry-armor and aviation assignments which gave him a unique vision of cavalry and aviation's potential on the modern battlefield.
During the October 1975 Army Forces Command and Training and Doctrine Command Conference II, he helped demonstrate employment concepts for the III Corps and TRADOC commanders, and to a gathering of all division commanders and the branch chiefs of the Army.
This exercise clearly demonstrated the viability and decisiveness of air cavalry and Army aviation on the modern battlefield.
Patterson not only demonstrated a vision which substantially changed the employment techniques of cavalry and aviation, but was a brave and decisive leader at all levels of command as evidenced by his awards and decorations.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars for Valor, 21 Air Medals and the Purple Heart.
From 1987 to 1992, Patterson was the vice president for Perceptronics, Inc., and helped to field the AIRNET and SIMNET, both highly successful collective virtual training systems developed by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the aviation defense industry.
Patterson knew aviation and air cavalry inside and out, making him a brave visionary leader ahead of his time, and enabled him to leave an indelible imprint on how Army aviation fights and survives on the modern battlefield.