Jim Ritter was born in Villa Ridge, Ill. During World War II, he served as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy. Jim left the Navy in 1946 after eight years of service and was hired by Seaboard in 1947, one of the first flight radio operators. In the 1950s, Jim attended the Wright Aeronautical Division Service School for training as a flight engineer on the Connie. He can been seen in two photos taken at the school here. Like some other radio operators, he was also an amateur (ham) radio operator (W2ORQ).
Jim died in Inverness, Fla. when he was only 52. He was survived by his wife, Agnes, who died in 2001. He is also survived by daughters, Charmaine Neuhaus, Elizabeth (Betty) Palya; son, Paul J. Ritter Jr.; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.