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Fifty Years of
Wars The February 1969 edition of the Legion Airs Post Paper featured a
photo and article titled "In The Jones Tradition."
The article read,
"Three generations of the Jones family, representing four wars, gathered
recently to attend an annual Memorial Mass at Holy Cross Church, for Maurice
G. Jones who was killed in WWII.
(Note: Joe Jr. served in WWII in Patton's 3rd Army, 5th
Division (known as
the Red Diamond Division).
The only story my brother Joe ever told me about
the war was when they were on the front lines. His unit was in a local
farmhouse and the German army unit was only a few hundred yards away,
across a field. They were stuck there for some time with neither side
attempting an offensive move. For want of something to do, Joe
went into the basement and found some window glass, putty, a glass cutter,and
zinc brads (used to hold the window pane in place). He took the glass
upstairs and repaired one of the many broken windows.
(Note: It was a cold and snowy January). When he finished, he stepped
back to view his work and POW, a German sharpshooter from across the field
shot out the window. Joe repaired it three more times and each time the
German sharpshooter shot it out again.
Apparently, he too was bored and looking for something to do. The point
is that the sharpshooter NEVER shot at Joe, and Joe was sure he had ample
opportunity to do so.
I never got overseas. I spent all my time in training. They used to remark
that the only way I would go overseas was if some country invaded us.
When I was separated
from the service, I arrived home at supper time. As I entered the house
through the front door everybody jumped up from the table and shouted,
"HE'S HOME" and then all I heard was "OH IT'S ONLY JOHN".... apparently
they were awaiting the return of Joseph.
The recent Band of Brothers mini-series on HBO has been very moving for
me. It brings to life many of the stories my father (Joe
Jr.) shared with me when I was a child.
Episode 5, when
the unit was taking a small town, was particularly significant. That was
very similar to the types of battles he fought in - door to door combat.
Dad was a lead scout
in his platoon and during one such firefight he recalled being on the
front steps of a house as machine gun bullets whizzed just over his head
from within. He tossed in a grenade and the bullets stopped. That is how
he humbly recounted that heroic act.
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Left to right:
Joseph J. Jones Jr. - WWII (see letters)
Jerome J. Jones - Korea
Joseph J. Jones III - Viet Nam
Joseph J. Jones Sr. - WWI (see diary)
James J. Jones - Viet Nam
John. J. Jones - WWII