On 4 May 1978, 1Lt. James M. Simonitsch, Class of 1975, died of injuries received in a C-130 accident. He is survived by his wife, Jane, P. 0. Box 136, Alto NM 88312; and by his parents. Maj. (USAF Ret.) and Mrs. Jake M. Simonitsch, 900 S. Main St., Independence MO 64050; and by a brother and five sisters. Two of the sisters are cadets at the Air Force Academy.
During his four years at the Academy, Lt. Simonitsch was on the Dean ‘s List and the Commandant’s list for academic and military excellence. As a member of the 26th Cadet Squadron, he was active in the Catholic Choir, Cadet Chorale, Catholic Cadet Council, and the Heritage Committee. He majored in History with emphasis in Far Eastern Studies. After pilot training at Williams AFB, Lt. Simonitsch was assigned to the 32nd Tactical Airlift Squadron at Little Rock AFB as a C-130 Copilot.
Services were held for Lt. Simonitsch at the Catholic Cadet Chapel on 10 May 1978, with interment at the USAFA Cemetery.
From the Spring 1978 Checkpoints Column:
Editor’s Note: Rick Layman informed the AOG that Jim Simonitsch was in an aircraft accident on 15 April in California. He was subsequently moved to Wilford Hall. He has reportedly been medically retired and at last report was in critical but stable condition.