top of page

Iowa History Daily: July 19 - James "Jig Dog" Ramage

Iowa History Daily: On July 19, 1916, James D. “Jig Dog” Ramage was born in Waterloo. A decorated pilot who flew missions in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War, Ramage left a soaring legacy as a naval aviator.

While growing up in Waterloo, Ramage attended Francis Grout, McKinley School and finally East Waterloo High. His father struggled, first losing a farm during the Great Depression, and then taking a job at a bank which closed shortly thereafter. After high school, Ramage briefly attended UNI before gaining an alternate appointment to the United State Naval Academy.

Graduating from Annapolis in 1939, Ramage found himself on the USS Enterprise. Throughout the war his career took off, and he gained credit for personally sinking a Japanese aircraft carrier during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. A part of the first postwar class at the Naval War College, Ramage studied nuclear weapons and career aviation. Commander for Carrier Air Group 19 in Korea, the Iowan went on to gain numerous leadership positions across the 1950s and 1960s. When American went to war again in Vietnam, Ramage Commander Fleet Air Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Commander Carrier Division Seven during the Vietnam War, Commander Naval Air Reserve, and Commander Tenth Naval District/Caribbean Sea Frontier/Commander Fleet Air Caribbean from 1973 to 1975.

Ramage retired after his career in Vietnam and returned to Iowa. He chose to spend his time working as a part of an effort to rename Waterloo's ConWay Civic Center to the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in honor of the Sullivan brothers. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


bottom of page