Jones Jr., Joseph D. (P2, C3, L3)
First Lieutenant Joseph Dutton Jones Jr. 22, Barbourville, Knox County, perished when his aircraft crashed into the sea on 24 January 1944 near Banika (Now known as Mbanika) Island, in the Solomon Islands. He was serving on federal active duty in the Army Air Corps with the 75th Bomber Squadron, 42nd Bomber Group, Medium.
Jones was the copilot on a B-25D-1 bomber, aircraft number 41-30640, on a local instrument training flight that took off from Renard Field with good weather and visibility reported. Also on the flight were the pilot 1LT William L. Armstrong of New Jersey and Sgt. William J. Sobolewski of New York. Sobolewski survived the crash and was picked up shortly after.
The take-off was reported as normal at 0838 hours but the pilot and co-pilot were reported fighting the controls immediately after pulling up the flaps after take-off. Sobolewski reported he believed some portion of the controls had become jammed. The pilots were reducing power and preparing to make a water landing as the aircraft hit the water tail first and broke apart at 0840. Jones and Armstrong’s bodies were never recovered.
Jones joined Company C of the 149th Infantry of the Kentucky National Guard in February 1938. His initial enlistment listed his date of birth as 1919. However, his later military documents all list his birth as 1921. He may well have enlisted under age.
He was promoted to Private First Class in November 1939. He was a high school graduate and listed his civilian occupation as carpenter. He was inducted into federal service with his unit in January 1941.
At some point while on active duty he attended officer candidate school and graduated and earned his pilot’s wings and was promoted to First Lieutenant.
He is listed on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines. His awards and decorations include the Air Medal.
Caption: A B-25 D similar to the aircraft Jones was co-piloting.