James Connally Air Force Base, near Waco TX was named for Colonel James T. Connally, a resident of Waco. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1932, completed pilot training and got his commission at Randolph Field in 1933.
He flew the air mail as an Army pilot in 1934. In 1941, he accompanied the first B-17s sold to the British. In 1942, he transferred to Clark Field in the Philippines with the 19th Bombardment Group where he won the Distinguished Flying Cross for a mission that destroyed a Japanese tanker ship and rescued 23 stranded US pilots.
He attended the School of Applied Tactics in Orlando, Florida, in 1944 and returned to the Pacific in December 1944. Col Connally was killed on May 29, 1945, while flying as an observer in the lead plane of a flight of 500 B-29s attacking Yokohama. His plane exploded after being hit by anti-aircraft fire. (2)