San Antonio's Home Page From The Express-News and KENS 5
Register Member Center
Help FAQ Sitemap
MySA Keyword
Story Search


Polkinghorn 07/23/2003
Colonel James W. Polkinghorn, USAF (Ret.), born in 1913, Cedar Falls, Iowa, died July 20, 2003 in San Antonio. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1937, and was the advertising manager of the Borger Daily Herald in Borger, TX. Drafted in 1941, he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. MAC in 1942. After World War II service in Africa, Italy, France and the Pacific, he transferred to the USAF as a Major in 1949. During his service career, Col. Polkinghorn served in numerous administrative and staff positions including Chief of the Medical Service Corps and Assistant Surgeon General for Medical Administration. His numerous decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal; the Legion of Merit; the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; the Army of Occupation Medal (Germany and Japan); the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; the World War II Victory Medal; the Campaign Medals for all three World War II Theaters of Operations; the RVCM; the VSM with three bronze stars; the AFLSA with one silver and one bronze oak leaf cluster and the Chief Medical Service Corps Insignia. Col. Polkinghorn's previous assignments included: Executive Officer to the Surgeon General; Executive Officer Tilton General Hospital (3750 beds) Fort Dix, NJ; MacDill AFB, FL, and Offutt AFB, NE; Chief Management Engineering and then Executive Officer Armed Forces Medical Procurement Agency; Chief of Medical Administrative Services, Office of the Surgeon, Pacific Air Forces and the same position at Military Air Transport Service. Following his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in 1972, Col. Polkinghorn worked with the Georgia Department of Health as the first Executive Director of a Comprehensive Health Planning Agency and Director of a Maternal and Infant Health Planning Project. In 1987, he and his wife, the former Mary Kathryn Gorman of Amarillo, Texas moved to San Antonio. In addition to his wife of 62 years, Col. Polkinghorn is survived by his daughter, Sharon Turner Buchanan-Parker, of Exeter, NH, and Lynda Hamilton of Martinsburg, WV; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. The family will receive friends from 3-9 P.M., on Wednesday, July 23rd at Porter Loring Mortuary for a Visitation. GRAVESIDE SERVICE THURSDAY JULY 24TH 9:00 A.M. FORT SAM HOUSTON NATIONAL CEMETERY WITH FULL MILITARY HONORS MEMORIAL SERVICE WILL FOLLOW INTERMENT - 10:30 A.M. AIR FORCE VILLAGE II HIGH FLIGHT CHAPEL If desired, a donation to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society may be sent in lieu of flowers. The family invites you to leave a message or memory at by selecting Visitation and Services. Select "Sign Guestbook" at the bottom of the individual Memorial. Arrangements with Porter Loring Mortuary.
Funeral Directors
Search Other Businesses
  Most notices that appear in the Express-News and online are arranged through local funeral homes. To place an obituary notice directly with the newspaper, fax text to 210-250-3749 or email text and photos to:

For more information and detail call 210-250-2363 Mon-Fri 8:30 to 5:30.