Rockford family has sons in the Air Force

Ryan (from left), James Sr. and James IV. (Photo provided)

In honor of Armed Forces Week (May 12-20), The Rock River Times profiles a local family with three family members holding the rank of major in the United States Air Force (USAF).

The U.S. Air Force has three major assets besides aircraft meeting their worldwide air power missions.

The James and Kay Hughes family of Rockford are proud they have three members of the family currently holding the rank of major in the USAF. All have served and flown in combat theaters of operation throughout the world.

James Sr. is a retired Air Force major with 22 1/2 years of service, including a tour at Dang Air Base, Vietnam. He later served in the Illinois Air Guards, 126th Air Refueling Wing at O’Hare.

Major James Hughes IV (Jamie), 39, served 10 years active duty as a navigator on C130 cargo aircraft and is now serving full-time as a member of the Hawaiian Air Guard. He is working in the Air and Space Operations Center for the Pacific, stationed at Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

Major Ryan Hughes, 36, served seven years in the Illinois Air Guard before going active duty as a pilot. He is a command instructor pilot with more than 3,000 hours of flying the KC135 Air, refueling tanker aircraft. He is the group director of operations for tanker missions, stationed at Kadena AFB, Okinawa, Japan.

Both James IV (Class of 1991) and Ryan (Class of 1994) are graduates of Rockford Guilford High School.

From the May 16-22, 2012, issue

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