ar hero and former Governor of New South Wales was born on 1st November, 1922, and died after a long battle with cancer on May 27th, 1999.
Sir James enlisted in the R.A.A.F aged 19 and served as a master bomber and pilot in the elite Pathfinder unit. In 1945 his plane collided with another over Frankfurt. Sir James survived and was taken prisoner by the Gestapo.
After the war he rose through the ranks until he became Air Marshal and Chief of Air staff in March, 1975. In the course of his meteoric rise he completed his engineering studies and became Australia's chief test pilot. He then moved on to aeronautical research and development, eventually being awarded an Air Force Cross.
In 1981 Premier Neville Wran asked him to be the next Governor of New South Wales, a position previously held by the likes of Lachlan Macquarie and William Bligh. He was Governor from 1981-1989.
Premier Bob Carr praised Sir James for making Government House more accessible to the public by inviting people from all walks of life to official functions. Neville Wran praised him as both a war hero and a common man.
Sir James Rowland received a State Funeral on 2nd June, 1999, as befits a man of his stature. There was a flyover central Sydney by the R.A.A.F. to mark the completion of the funeral ceremony.
Sir James is survived by his widow, Lady Faye, daughter Ann, and two grandchildren, Samantha and Lachlan.