James H. Ihli, 68, of Boise, passed away 29 Mar 10 at the VA hospital in Boise. He attended New Mexico Military Institute on a ROTC scholarship where he also played football. He was graduated from Idaho State University in 1965. He entered the Army March 66, and spent 5 years in the service -19 months of that in Vietnam as a U S Army Medical Evacuation Helicopter pilot. He served with the 254th Medical Detachment from 1967-1968.
For heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight, Jim earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. This is an amazing record of dedication to recover our wounded soldiers in the field under fire. In addition, Jim was awarded the Air Medal with 29 Oak Leaf Clusters. The air medal definition is “person shall have distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while in aerial flight or acts of heroism”.
After Jim returned home, he owned the Glenwood Bar, 44 Club, and a ranch in the foothills of Mountain Home. He worked for the Boise City Parks and Recreation until he retired in Jan 07.
Jim had a heart of gold. He was always willing to help someone in need financially or just be there as a friend. The courage Jim displayed during his life was notable. The numerous missions he flew in Vietnam as a DUSTOFF pilot continuously put him in harm’s way. The last 20 years of his life were difficult at times while he battled cancer. In all things, his ability to continue to fight for life everyday was remarkable. He will not be forgotten.