James Van Detta, originally a member of the class
of 1945, served in the Army Air Force for three years during World
War II. With the Fifth Air Force in the South Pacific, he served
in Lae, New Guniea; Baik, various islands in the Philippines,
and Ie Shima, a small island off the coast of Okinawa. He was
on Ie Shima when the Japanese peace delgation stopped to change
planes on its way to Manila to sign the "Instruments of Surrender,"
a few weeks before their formal surrender in September 1945. Following
the war, Van Detta returned to Albany and graduated in 1948.