James Green was drafted in October of 1943. He applied for pilot training but was turned down and was assigned to a B-29 crew in the 505 Bomber Group. He was assigned to Tinian Airfield. Tinian is one of the three principal islands of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands and is about 5 miles (8km) southwest of its sister island, Saipan.
During a mission when he was a replacement gunner he was shot down over Tokyo. He did not know the names of the other crew members and this irritated his captors when he was being interrorgated. The prisoners were badly mistreated by the Japanese soldiers during their inprisonment. However, James feels that this made him a stronger person and he has no animosity toward the Japanese people.
After the war James attended Western Michigan University and earned the B.A. Degree. Later he was awarded a Master's Degree from Central Michigan University. In 2005 when he was being interviewed he indicated that he has 6 children, all boys, 13 grandchildren, and his wife was still teaching.