James H. Jim Ousley of League, Texas was born on October 20, 1947 to Hugh and Retha Ousley in St. Louis, Missouri and passed away on September 20, 2021 at the age of 73 years and 11 months.
After Jim graduated from Lindbergh High School in 1965, he went on to study English and Geology at Meramec Community College.
Jim enlisted in the U.S. Army and completed Infantry Officers Training School in 1968. He completed the Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Fort Wolters, Texas in 1969. Jim was a Cobra pilot in Vietnam and served as a Gunship Platoon Leader and Airfield Commander. Jim also contributed to TOW antitank tactics and night vision tactics development and rose to the rank of Captain in his service. His service awards and decorations included: the Silver Star; Distinguished Flying Cross; Bronze Star; two Purple Hearts; 60 Air Medals; two Army Commendation Medals; and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.
After his honorable discharge, Jim trained for his brief career as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. But, the call of the rotary-wing eventually brought him to the next phase(s) of his career, starting with Hosking Exploration Helicopters in Bountiful, Utah. Over the next several years Jim piloted helicopters and managed helicopter and air wing operations for Hosking Exploration; Evergreen Helicopters; Crescent Airways; and the U.S. State Department. His exploits took him to many locations, including South America, the Caribbean and Cambodia. Along the way, he managed to include a short association with manufacturing specialized clothing and gear for the SCUBA industry. His later years saw him developing safety training, gear, and materials for many in high personal risk occupations.
He was a knowledgeable resource for his pilots and trainees. His understanding of the many layers of operations in seismic explorations deepened his appreciation of those in the industry. His path in life was frequently touched with a good measure of adventure. But, that seemed to suit his spirit.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Retha Ousley.
He is survived by his brothers, Doug Ousley of Dallas, Texas, William Ousley of St. Louis, Missouri and Robert Ousley of Boulder, Colorado; sister, Peggy Ousley Green of Fenton, Missouri; his beloved Marita Ousley of Oakland Park, Florida; other relatives and friends.
Memorial services were held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at the Jones Funeral Home in St. James, Missouri.
Burial with full military honors was at the St. James Cemetery.
Arrangements under the Jones Funeral Home in St. James, Missouri.