James Morrison Dorsey was born Aug. 28, 1930 in Tacoma to John and Mary Morrison.
Both of Jim’s parents passed away before he turned 14; Jim was adopted by Bill and Vera Dorsey of Bainbridge Island and eventually graduated from Bainbridge High School, Class of 1948.
He attended the University of Washington from 1949 through 1950 when he received a draft notice from the U.S. Navy and instead joined the U.S. Air Force. He was a natural pilot and completed his flight training and was selected as a fighter pilot flying the Republic F-84 Thunder jet and the North American F-86 Sabre. He flew more than 70 combat missions based out of Taegu, South Korea. Jim received several medals and commendations for his bravery and skill under fire.
On Aug. 8, 1966 Jim was hired by United Airlines, and shortly after completing commercial training was re-called back to active duty by the Air Force to serve in the Vietnam War.
Flying the North American F-100 Super Sabre, Jim flew 130 combat missions under very difficult conditions based out of Tuy Hoa Air Base, Vietnam. He received numerous medals and commendations during this conflict as well. After serving for two additional tours, Jim returned to the United States and began a long, successful career flying for United Airlines.
In 1969, Jim was able to return home to Bainbridge Island.
Continuing his love of flying, Jim became an accomplished aerobatic pilot, performing many air shows around the Pacific Northwest in his S-1 Pitts Special biplane. Jim passed on his love of flying to all three sons and as an instructor was able to teach many others over the course of his flying career.
Jim was a devout Catholic and a very spiritual man. He was fond of reading, golfing and football.
In 1990 Jim retired from United Airlines and enjoyed a long retirement.
He passed away peacefully at Retsil Veterans Home on June 18, 2018 at the age of 87.
Jim is survived by two sons Jeff and Pat; and his grandchildren Molly, James, Aiden, Elana, Jacob and Quinlynn. He was predeceased by his son Allen in 1995.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 21 at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church on Bainbridge Island.