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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Farmer, Jim -- oral history interview, 2017 October 26

Vietnam War veteran James “Jim” Farmer is interviewed about his military service as a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress pilot. He discusses his wartime experiences in Southeast Asia, including his participation in Operations Linebacker I and Linebacker II, and shares other highlights from his U.S. Air Force service. He also discusses his involvement with The Museum of Flight and his work on Project Welcome Home, the Museum’s campaign to construct a memorial park paying tribute to Vietnam War veterans.


  • 2017 October 26

Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. Interviews are being made available online on an ongoing basis. For more information contact us.


6.1 Gigabytes (1 master video file, 1 access video file, 1 PDF transcript)

1 Digital recordings : 1 hr., 13 min., 45 sec.

Biographical Note: Jim Farmer

James “Jim” Farmer is a Vietnam War veteran who served as a pilot aboard the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. He was born and raised in Long Island, New York. His father was a World War II veteran who worked for a plumbing supply company. His mother worked as a nurse’s aide.

In 1969, Farmer graduated from Adelphi University (New York) with a degree in Business Administration. He then joined the U.S. Air Force and attended Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base (Texas). After completing Undergraduate Pilot Training, he was assigned to the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress at March Air Force Base (California).

During the Vietnam War, Farmer served four rotations in Southeast Asia. He participated in Operations Linebacker I and Linebacker II and was ultimately promoted to aircraft commander. In 1972, his B-52 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over North Vietnam. He and most of his crew were successfully rescued from behind enemy lines. Over the course of his wartime service, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart.

After completing his combat tours, Farmer’s subsequent assignments included serving nuclear alert at March AFB and participating in the Strategic Air Command Bombing and Navigation Competition. He left the service in the mid-1970s and relocated to Seattle, Washington, where he embarked on a career in the finance industry. During his 30-plus years in the field, he worked for Smith Barney, Kidder Peabody, and Wells Fargo.

Farmer has served on the board of several nonprofit organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, Rotary Club, and The Museum of Flight. He also served on the Project Welcome Committee, spearheading efforts to restore the Museum’s B-52 aircraft and construct a memorial park paying tribute to Vietnam War veterans. As of 2020, he is an active Museum Trustee, serving on the Board’s Executive Committee.

Biographical information derived from interview and additional information provided by interviewee.

Existence and Location of Copies

This interview available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.


Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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