Longtime Edwards historian passes

from 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

1/8/2015 - LOS ANGELES -- Former Air Force Flight Test Center historian Dr. James Young died peacefully in Los Angeles, Dec. 19, 2014. He was 71.

A memorial service was held Jan. 5 at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.

Young was an accomplished writer and documentary film maker, producing 23 full-length video documentaries and over 250 shorter videos. Under his direction, the AFFTC History Office was named Best in the Air Force in 1990 and it was singled out for Program Excellence within Air Force Materiel Command in 1996.  Under his direction the office also garnered USAF Heritage Awards for 1997 and 1998.  In 1991, he was presented with the Gill Robb Wilson Award for outstanding contributions to national defense in the letters and arts.  In 1993, he was elected as an honorary member of the Jet Pioneers' Association of the United States of America and in 2000 he was honored as "Friend of the Society" by the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.  He was a dedicated individual who loved writing about the history made at Edwards Air Force Base and served more than 30 years as an AF historian. "Edwards is truly historic.  It's been a privilege to witness history in the making and to write the story of the people accomplishing it."

Young was born Oct. 19, 1943 in Los Angeles. He earned a B.A, M.A., and PhD in History from the University of Southern California. He married his soul mate Angie in 1964. After teaching at various colleges around Southern California for about 10 years, he began working for the USAF as an historian, becoming chief historian at Edwards in 1986. His children remember him as a wonderful father who encouraged them to give their best effort in all their pursuits.

Young is survived by his wife Angela, sons Timothy and Andrew, and granddaughters Jacqueline and Kaitlyn.

Read more about Dr. James Young at