James S Kane

James (Jim) Kane, of Pleasanton, died on Jan. 21. He was 95. He was born in the Bitterroot Valley in rural Montana, near the town of Corvallis, on Dec. 14, 1925. He graduated from Corvallis High School in 1943, and enlisted in the U.S. Army that year. Assigned to the infantry, he saw combat in Europe and was awarded battle stars for the Rhineland and Central Europe, campaigns, as well as a Silver Star and Combat Infantry Badge. His unit liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Flossenburg, Germany. After the war ended in Europe, he served during the occupation of Japan. He was discharged from the military in April 1946.

In the fall of 1946, Jim enrolled at what is now Montana State University, in Bozeman, majoring in chemistry. During the summers, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a lookout/smoke chaser in the Bitterroot Forest of Western Montana. After graduating, he went to work as a process chemist for General Electric, at the Hanford Site in Washington State, which produced plutonium.