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Memorial Tributes: Volume 7
JAMES CORNELIUS ELMS
BY MAX FAGET
JAMES CORNELIUS ELMS IV, a consultant and a retired electronics and aerospace executive, died on May 7, 1993.
Mr. Elms was born in East Orange, New Jersey, May 16, 1916. He received a B.S. degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1948 and an M.A. in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1950.
Jim Elms developed an early interest in aviation and learned to fly as a teenager. He started his career as a stress analyst at Consolidated Aircraft Company of San Diego in 1940, then served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. As an engineering officer, he developed and patented a simple improvement to the firing mechanism of a machine gun, which improved both reliability and the rate of fire. Subsequently and sequentially he was chief development engineer at G. M. Giannini and Company, Pasadena, California; research associate in geophysics at UCLA; manager of the Armament Systems Department at the Autonetics Division of the North American Aviation Company, Downey, California; assistant chief engineer at Martin Company, Denver, Colorado; executive vice-president of the Crosley Division, AVCO Corporation, Cincinnati, Ohio; and general operations manager of the Aeronautic Division of Ford Motor Company, Newport Beach, California.
In 1963 Jim Elms was recruited into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to become the deputy