James Joseph Deery was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1902. He served with the 8th Infantry Division in France and Germany, from May 1919, to June 1921. He then attended West Point, graduating in 1925. He would go on to serve in the 4th Field Artillery Regiment and the 13th Field Artillery Battalion. It was his time with the 80th Field Artillery Battalion, when the 6th Infantry Division was reorganized that he was called on to command their anti-tank battalion. In December 16, 1941, he was chosen to command the 606th Tank Destroyer Battalion, leading them through their training. He then commanded the 12th Tank Destroyer Group which received credit for campaigns in the Rhineland and Central Europe. He later served in a number of assignments, including the Korean War. He passed away on May 2, 1987 and was buried in the Fort Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.