Lt. Colonel James A. Roberts (Retired) 89, of Casselberry, FL passed away Friday, November 18, 2022. Lt Colonel Roberts was born July 20, 1933, in Chattanooga, TN to the late Jesse Lee & Margaret Alexander Roberts. Lt Colonel Roberts graduated from Tyner High School, Chattanooga, TN.
After graduation from high school, he entered the United States Marine Corps and began flight training as a Naval Aviation Cadet in March 1953, receiving his commission in July 1954. After the completion of flight training, he was transferred to VMA-23 where he flew the F-9F Panther. Lt Colonel Roberts was promoted to First Lieutenant in 1956. After being promoted, he returned to Corpus Christi, TX for duty as a flight instructor. Later, he was reassigned to the Ready Reserve, attended the University of Tennessee, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In September 1961, he returned to active duty as a Captain and transition training and was transferred to MCAS (H) New River. Joined the HMM-261 and was deployed aboard the LPH USS Thetis Bay participating in the Cuban operation. In 1963, as a member of HMM-261 in the Republic of Vietnam, he participated in Operation SHU-FLY at Da Nang. Returning to CONUS in July 1964 and was assigned to HMX-1 at Quantico, Virginia.
He was then promoted to Major and was designated as a Presidential Helicopter Command Pilot for President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1967 he was reassigned as Assistant Air Operations Officer aboard the LPH USS Iwo Jima and saw duty in the Republic of Vietnam, participating in Combat Operations Ballistic Armor, Fortress Attack, and Kentucky I. He was reassigned to HMM-162 in October 1969 when he was promoted to Lt. Colonel. In January 1970 he was assigned to a Command position. He retired from the United States Marine Corps after 25 years of service at the rank of Lt. Colonel July in 1979.
Lt. Colonel Roberts is survived by his loving wife Angela Wise Roberts, son, James Michael Roberts, daughter, Patricia Roberts-Orlando, two granddaughters, Mrs. Heather Jerabek and Ms. Sarah Orlando, grandson, Michael Roberts. He was preceded in death by a brother, Jesse Lee Roberts.
The family will be receiving friends from 10:30 – 11:00 AM, Tuesday, November 22, 2022, with a chapel service to follow at 11:00 AM at the DeGusipe Funeral Home 9001 N. Orlando Ave. Maitland, FL 32751. Services will be officiated by Pastor Jennifer Carpenter. The interment will take place, immediately following the service at All Faith Memorial Park 1390 Park Drive Casselberry, FL 32707, with military honors. Reception will take place after Graveside service at the family’s residence 1964 Kewannee Trail
Casselberry, FL 32707.