James Singleton Swann, Jr.
SHREVEPORT, LA - James Singleton Swann, Jr., aged 92, died peacefully at his home on March 10, 2014, with his sons James and Steve at his side.
Jim, as he was known by all who knew him, was a lifelong resident of Shreveport. He was a graduate of C.E Byrd High School and attended La. Tech. Jim owned and operated Swann World Travel on Fairfield Avenue. The agency was founded by his mother, Schumpert Swann, in 1933 and continued until WWII interrupted the travel business. Jim re-opened the agency in 1948 and continued operations until his retirement in 1987.
Jim joined the US Army Air Corps on December 7, 1942 and was commissioned as an Officer on June 19, 1943. He was stationed at Rattlesden Air Base in England in November, 1943 and flew 30 combat missions during WWII as a B-17 Bombardier with the 8th Air Force 447th Bomb Group. Jim participated in the first daylight bombing of Berlin, Germany on March 6, 1944 and always said there were planes as far as the eye could see in all directions. Later, we learned that the mission was made up of 777 B-17 bombers and 305 B-24 bombers and the formation was 94 miles long. For his service he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Star and also received a Presidential Citation.
Jim was born August 10, 1921 in Shreveport, LA at his family home on Kings Hwy to James Singleton Swann, Sr. and Schumpert Davenport Swann. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his wife, Gloria Boone Swann; sisters, Azile Swann DeWitt, Maude Swann Durkee and Sarah Jane "Janis" Swann. He is survived by his sons, James Singleton Swann, III and wife, Nancy, of Portland, Oregon; Steven Ray Swann and wife, Carolyn, of Nashville, Tennessee; niece, Ann Fitzpatrick Graham and husband, Dave; great niece, Mary Ann Furnish and husband, Tim; two sisters in-law and two nephews.
Jim came from an old family from the Bossier-Caddo Parishes. His great-great grandmother, Eliza Lewis Gilmer, was married to James Blair Gilmer, a prominent planter in Northwest Louisiana whose father, George O. Gilmer, was instrumental in naming the town of Plain Dealing in Bossier Parish. Jim's grandfather, Col. James S. Swann, originally from Swann's Point, Virginia, was considered one of the most successful planters in this area. Jim's father, J.S. Swann, was an active investor in real estate in Louisiana and Texas. Among other properties he built the "Swann Apartments" on Kings Hwy where they remain today.
Jim was a pleasant, cheerful man loved by all who ever met and knew him. He died in his family home which was always his desire. He was buried beside his beloved wife in Forest Park Cemetery.
The family would like to express special thanks to Jennifer Coker, Russ Graham, Tim Snell, Dr. Richard Sipes and the US Army Honor Guard from Ft. Polk, La.
Rose-Neath Funeral Home
1815 Marshall Street Shreveport, LA 71101
Published in Shreveport Times from Mar. 16 to Mar. 18, 2014