A Korean War veteran who honorably represented his Chickasaw heritage

James E. “Jim” Amerson was born in 1931, and is the son of Lola Maud Johnston, an original enrollee. Amerson is also the nephew of Elba “Cutchie” Johnston — an original enrollee and fellow Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame inductee.

Amerson served in the American Legion and was elected Commander of the State American Legion in 1998. He also served in the Korean War in the 45th Infantry Division, 179th Heavy Tank Company, as a combat tank commander. After receiving an honorable discharge from the military, Amerson returned to his home state of Oklahoma, where he graduated from college and went on to work as a self-employed engineer. He later worked as a teacher at McCloud (Oklahoma) High School and as a high school football coach — for which he was honored as the 1968 Coach of the Year. During his time as an educator, McCurtain oversaw McCloud High School’s Native American student organization.

Amerson currently serves as the national representative for the American Legion in foreign affairs. He is also the director of Oklahoma Boys State — a citizenship education program. He has worked with the organization for over seven years.

Amerson was inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2006 for his notable accomplishments and honorable representation of his Chickasaw heritage.


  • Inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2006
  • National Representative for the American Legion on foreign affairs
  • Director of Oklahoma Boys State
  • Awarded Coach of the Year in 1968 for high school football
  • Served as combat tank commander in the Korean War (in the 45th Infantry Division, 179th Heavy Tank Company)