Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

James E Trafton

Nashville, Tennessee

April 5, 2010

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
58 Army Col

Kansas Army National Guard

Died as a result of a vehicle accident. Served in OIF.

 Colonel Trafton, 58, passed away Monday, April 5, 2010 at University of
Kansas Hospital. He was born October 10, 1951, in Nashville, TN where he grew up. He began his military career enlisting in the US Army in 1971, serving in Vietnam.
Concluding his duty, he joined the Kansas Army National Guard. While serving
he led the 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry on tour in Iraq. Colonel Trafton
retired with over 37 years of faithful service to the National Guard, our
state and nation. James was also a Free Mason, VFW member, and Guard
American Legion Member. 

A man who was severely injured Sunday night in a car-motorcycle accident on the Kansas Turnpike near Lawrence has died, authorities said.

The victim was identified as James E. Trafton, 58, of Kansas City, Kan.

According to Capital-Journal records, Trafton this past August was inducted into the Kansas National Guard Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Great Plains Joint Training Center in Salina.

Trafton was a retired colonel in the Kansas National Guard.

According to the Kansas Turnpike Authority, Trafton was injured at 7:53 p.m. Sunday when his 2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycle collided with a 2002 Nissan passenger car that had gone out of control just west of the East Lawrence interchange on Interstate 70.

The turnpike authority said the driver of the Nissan, identified as Barry Lamonte Williams, 62, of Kansas City, Mo., was entering eastbound I-70 when he was distracted by a dog in the vehicle.

The Nissan then went out of the acceleration lane to the right, hit some sand, lost control and struck the median wall, according to turnpike officials.

Trafton's motorcycle hit the Nissan immediately after it struck the wall.

Trafton was taken by air ambulance to The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., where authorities said he died at 2:10 p.m. Monday.

Williams and a passenger in his car, Sharla K. Williams, 59, were reported injured and taken to an area hospital. The turnpike's accident report said Barry Williams wasn't wearing a seat belt. The report didn't specify whether Sharla Williams was wearing a seat belt. 
News from
The Adjutant General's Department
Kansas Army National Guard

Kansas Air National Guard

Kansas Emergency Management
Joy D. Moser
Director, Public Affairs Office
Work: (785) 274-1192

No. 03-191


Lt. Col. Jim Trafton, Kansas City, Kan., will take command of the 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry (2-137th), Kansas Army National Guard (KSARNG) in a change of command ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 11:00 a.m. on the parade grounds at the Kansas City Armory, in Kansas City, Kan. He will receive the command from outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Danny Hay, Topeka.

"I am very pleased to be afforded the opportunity to lead this battalion through the conversion to the M2A2 ODS Bradley Fighting Vehicle," said Trafton. "It is a true privilege to return to the soldiers of the 2-137th Infantry."
The 2-137th is headquartered in Kansas City, Kan., with units in Lawrence and Wichita.

Lt. Col. James E. Trafton

Trafton, 52, received his Bachelor of Science degree from Regents College and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He is a full-time Kansas Army National Guardsman and president of the National Guard Officers Association of Kansas.

Trafton began his military career in 1971 as an enlisted infantryman in the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. Following two years of active duty, he spent 12 more years as a noncommissioned officer in the KSARNG. After commissioning, he served as an engineer officer, operations officer and assistant logistics officer for the 69th Brigade, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 69th Brigade, and assistant training officer-Air, training officer and executive officer, all for the 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry. He currently serves as Chief of Supply and Services for the United States Property and Fiscal Office of Kansas.

He was commissioned in 1984 and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 2000.

Trafton's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and numerous other awards.

Trafton is married to the former Theresa Wheeler. They have four children: Elizabeth Trafton, 6, Maegan Trafton, 22, Susan Buhl, 25, and Sonia Kraffels, 28.

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