|Birth: ||Mar. 2, 1921|
Pearl River County
|Death: ||Dec. 8, 2012|
James M. Walley, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Marine Fighter Pilot, Lawyer, Mason & Patriot
Born: Poplarville, MS: March 2, 1921 – Died: Dallas, TX: December 8, 2012
James Marvin Walley, a long time resident of New Orleans and Gretna, passed away at the age of 91. He was born in Poplarville, Ms. on March 2, 1921, the eldest son of Idabell Landrum (Walley) and James Edward Walley. He had one sister, Helen, and one brother, Ernest, who was his lifelong best friend. Their family moved to New Orleans during the great depression in 1929 which he endured as a teenager. The experience taught him to work hard and to save every day. He had several part time jobs – as a paper boy for the Times Picayune and a caddy at City Park Golf Course - by the age of 14 and did not stop working until he was 80. He lived through the Big Band era and was apparently a fairly good ‘jitterbug dancer'. In the most brilliant move of his life, he married Edna Amelia Rohr of New Orleans on April 7, 1943; and was totally devoted to her until she passed away on January 20, 2000. He was the loving father of Diane Lynn Walley and James Marvin Walley, Jr. He is survived by his brother, Ernest C. Walley and his wife Wanzie; his son, Rear Admiral (U) James M. Walley, Jr., CEC, USN, and his wife Marynelle Lorimer Walley; and five terrific grandchildren (HMC James H. Akin, USN, Charlotte Walley Cooper, Elizabeth T. Walley, James Edward Walley, II and Joseph Michael Walley).
He was a 1938 graduate of Warren Easton High School – where he was a cheer leader and senior class president. Upon graduation he worked at Walhorn's Antique Store on Royal Street as an antique weapons expert until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. The following day he volunteered to become a Marine. He was selected to become a Naval Aviator. After earning his ‘Gold Wings', he became a Marine, attended Marine Officer Basic School and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. Immediately thereafter, he was ordered to a Marine Aviation Squadron in the Pacific Theater, where he served until the war ended. Lt Walley was as a carrier based F4U "Corsair" fighter/bomber pilot serving with the "Hell Hawks" and "Flying Deuces" in the Solomon Islands; advancing north and west in the "Island Hoping Campaign". Their ultimate goal was the invasion of Japan. As the wingman for ‘Super Ace' J. Cupp, he successfully provided air cover to Cupp as he downed 16 "Zeros". Captain Walley shot down three more Japanese "Zeros" and one "Betty" bomber. He was also sank a 300' enemy freighter and twelve barges. He served with distinction and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and fourteen Air Medals in WWII.
Following WWII, Captain Walley and Edna chose to remain in the Marine Corps for a career and they served at bases from Guam to California to Kansas to Virginia. During the Korean War, Major Walley flew 120 Marine Corps ‘close air support' missions in a F8 "Banshee". He earned a third Distinguished Flying Cross by leading an attack on a North Korean entrenched artillery gun position and ammunition depot during intense enemy fire. He earned five more Air Medals, totaling 19, and a Navy/USMC Commendation Medal with Combat "V". Before he retired, Lieutenant Colonel Walley was involved in the initial stages of the Vietnam War flying the F4 "Phantom". He served Our Country with distinction for over 26 years and retired from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1968. Along the way, he managed to graduate from college – mainly though twenty years of effort at "night school".
Upon retirement, he and Edna returned home to New Orleans and he entered Tulane Law School; graduating in 1972 at the age of 51. He practiced law in New Orleans for 30 years. Civically, he was a long term supporter of the Salvation Army and served as President of the Board. He and Edna were members of Timberlane Country Club, where he also served as President of the Board for two years.
Other than spending time with his family, Jim Walley most enjoyed participating in his fraternity, the Masonic Order. Brother Walley first joined the Masons and was raised to the 3rd degree in 1952 at Lee E. Thomas Lodge in New Orleans. He remained active in the Masons and their military group, the Sojourners, during the Korean War and at various other lodges during his military career. When he retired from the military, he returned and eventually became Master of Lee E. Thomas Lodge. As he worked the trade, he became a 33rd degree Mason, and in 1984 he served as the Grand Master of Louisiana Free and Accepted Masons. He is a Past Venerable Master of the New Orleans Grand Consistory, Past Master of Lee E. Thomas Lodge, Past President of the National Sojourners, Past Commander of Heroes of 76, a Member of the Knights Templar and Jerusalem Temple Shrine. He always enjoyed serving the Craft and was always graciously accompanied in these endeavors by his wife, Edna.
Jim and Edna lived the "American Dream". Born to relatively simple families, they worked together to build a middle class life and save a Country from fascist and communist regimes. They were both completely dedicated to each other, their immediate and their extended families and America. They never complained in spite of many hardships and war time separations, but rather they chose to focus and appreciated the life they built. Jim Walley was blessed to be a Christian, an American, a Marine and a Mason. All who have been touched by his life as enhanced by Edna are blessed.
A Masonic Memorial Service will be held at the Grand Consistory of Louisiana, 600 Carondelet Street, New Orleans on Thursday January 3rd at 6:00 pm. Marines, Masons and friends of the family are welcome to attend. There will be a small family internment on Friday morning. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that a donation be made to the Grand Consistory of Louisiana, 600 Carondelet Street, NOLA 70118 or to the church or charity of your choice. Remembrances may be sent to the family at 502 Cordova Street, Dallas, Texas 75223. They will be treasured, as will the memory of all that he has done for the many who have been blessed to have known and loved Jim and Edna.
James Edward Walley (1897 - 1978)
Ida Belle Landrum Walley (1904 - 1987)
Edna Amelie Rohr Walley (1920 - 2000)
Diane Lynn Walley (1945 - 2009)*
Masonic Cemetery No. 1
Created by: James E. Akin
Record added: Jan 12, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 103470995
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.