Saturday, July 13, 2024

Avenue of Heroes: James G. Callaway

Prepared by: Richard Williams (friend)

Captain James Ginn Callaway was born in Huntington, West Virginia, on June 2, 1942. Callaway attended the University of Michigan and graduated in 1964 and went on to receive his master’s degree from Ohio State University in 1968. After graduation, he joined the Navy to “see the world.”

His first tour was with the Flagship of the Middle East Force wh ere he deployed to Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, India, and Africa. After serving in one of the world’s hottest areas, he received orders to “Operation Deep Freeze” sailing between New Zealand, and the South Pole. He served on numerous other Destroyers as a Damage Control Assistant, Chief Engineer and Executive Officer.

In 1968 he deployed to Vietnam with the last River Division of River Patrol Boats and in 1969 became the first Naval Riverine advisor during President Nixon’s active turn over to the Vietnamese. He later Commanded both Coastal River Division Eleven at Mare Island, California, and Special Boat Unit Twenty-Two at New Orleans, Louisiana.

While serving as Commanding Officer of the Naval and Marine Corps Readiness Center in Norfolk, Virginia, he was knighted into the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (Knight’s Templar) and became the Priory of the Monitor and Merrimack.

Following retirement from active duty in 1995, CAPT Callaway commenced a 17-year career in Navy Bachelor Housing. He retired in 2012 with a combined active duty and civilian career of 48 1/2 years.

CAPT Callaway’s personal decorations are vast and far-reaching, including but not limited to the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star w ith Combat “V,” Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy Commendation Medal with gold star, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation with two bronze stars, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Battle Efficiency “E” Ribbon, and National Defense Service Medal with bronze star.

CAPT Callaway and his wife, Beverly, reside in Coronado and volunteer with numerous charitable organizations. They have two children and two grandchildren who live in California. CAPT Callaway and Beverly can be seen around Coronado daily either biking or running. CAPT Callaway competes in road races at the local, regional and national level, almost always winning his age group.

The Avenue of Heroes Program is a military service recognition program sponsored by the City of Coronado. Introduced in 2014, the program has honored 230 hometown heroes to date. On May 20, 2023, another 15 were honored. City staff and volunteers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2422, the Coronado Historical Association and the Third and Fourth Streets Neighborhood Association oversee its operation. In 2011, the program was inspired spontaneously with the movement of two Navy SEALs to their final resting place. News spread quickly throughout the city and the local Rotary Club passed out American flags. People lined Fourth Street to honor the fallen service members. As the procession approached the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, a lone Navy SEAL stood at attention, saluting as he waited for the passage of his comrades. At that moment, it was clear that Third and Fourth streets were already an Avenue of Heroes. From that spontaneous beginning, the program was launched in May 2015 with 18 banners. Ceremonies are held twice yearly and men and women with ties to the community have been recognized from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Avenue of Heroes program is a reminder that Coronado has a rich history and legacy of service to country.

Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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