Tiverton native LTC James Webber Lent, Jr. USMC (Ret) had the distinction of serving three combat tours in Viet Nam, flying three different aircraft with distinctly different missions. During these three tours, Jim flew a total of 842 combat missions and 949 combat hours, an accomplishment surpassed by only a select few US military aviators. Lent graduated from De La Salle Academy in Newport and Holy Cross College. Lent was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 1960, and designated a Naval Aviator the following year. In his first Vietnam tour (1964-65) he flew the H-34 helicopter in support and medevac missions out of Danang. From April, 1968 – May, 1969 he flew the A-4 Skyhawk attack jet with VMA-311 out of Chu Lai, providing close air support for marines on the ground. In 1972 he flew the F-4J Phantom II fighter/attack jet in combat. During his 21-year career, Jim amassed a total of 3,482 flight hours flying 18 different aircraft. He also completed 123 day and night carrier landings. Lent’s combat awards include three Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars with Combat V, and forty-two Air Medals, with one meritorious single mission gold star. After leaving the service he earned his JD and a Master of Law Degree in International Business and Taxation. He continues to practice in Pensacola, FL where he now resides.
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