James Sehorn was born in 1940 in Forest Grove, Oregon. He was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC Program at Oregon State University on June 2, 1963. Sehorn completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings in October 1964. He served with the 77th Tactical Fighter Squadron at RAF Wethersfield, England, from August 1965 to 1967 when he trained as an F-105 Thunderchief pilot. Sehorn began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia with the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron in November 1967, and he was forced to eject over North Vietnam on December 14, 1967, and was immediately captured and taken as a Prisoner of War. After spending 1,917 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. He then trained as a transport pilot, and flew C-141 Starlifters. Major Sehorn left active duty and went into the Air Force Reserve in October 1976. Sehorn continued his flying career in the reserves and returned to active duty in September 1987. He retired from the Air Force in 1994 as the Director of Operations for the U.S. Air Force Reserve. From January 2003 to May 2006, James served as the first Inspector General of the State of Georgia. He is married to the former Jo Hunt of Columbus, Georgia.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
This officer distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions and propaganda materials. This American resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.