JAMES J. ROMER, CAPT, USAF
James Romer '53
Date of birth: March 19, 1929
Date of death: November 15, 1965
From the 1953 Lucky Bag:
From Independent Press-Telegram of Long Beach, California, on October 7, 1967:
Captain James J. Romer was a man who was fundamentally dissatisfied. He felt that anyone satisfied with his lot in life no longer is making a contribution to society. As a member of the United States Air Force in Panama. Romer spent every spare moment on civic action in Central America. A devout Roman Catholic, his one aim in life was Christian service to others. On one of his many visits to a remote village in a rugped mountain area, Jim Romer died in a plane crash. Over 200 villagers in that Latin country mourned the death of a friend, for they had benefited spiritually and materially from his visits. He had taught sanitation, showed them how to dig wells and use concrete. He had made firm friends for the United States. On the new Health Center of Vera Cruz there is a plaque with his name and rank in memory of his participation in that work. There are many "James Romers" around the world who have and will pay the supreme price for trying to make a better world for the love of God and mankind.
The exact same piece ran the year before — it seems to be an Associated Press article — in the La Crosse Tribune [Wisconsin] on April 30, 1966.
The now-defunct website USNA '53 listed him as killed in an aircraft accident "U-10 Costa Rica." The airplane was owned by the US Army, and the other person aboard was also killed.
From researcher Kathy Franz: "Class of 1948 Woodbridge High School. Survived by wife Peggy Ann; father James, a truck driver, mother Elizabeth, and brother William."
He is listed in the 1965 Air Force Officer Register as a qualified pilot and navigator.
The May 27, 1964 edition of The Recorder (Metuchen, New Jersey) reported that he had recently "completed the U.S. Air Forces Southern Command Tropic Survival School at Albrook AFB, Canal Zone."
He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.