Robert H. Jones

ROBERT H. JONES, born December 26, 1923, in Iowa City, Iowa and was graduated from Iowa City High School in June 1942. He attended the State University of Iowa until entering the USAAF in February 1943. He received his pilots wings and commission at Aloe Army Airfield, Victoria, Texas in March 1944 and was assigned to P-47 training at Camp Springs AAB and to weapons training at Millville, New Jersey.

He remained at Millville AAB as an instructor pilot until March, 1945 when he was assigned to the 9th AF, 371st Fighter Group, 404th Fighter Squadron at Metz, France. He flew 18 missions before VE Day and remained in the ETO with the occupation forces as a fighter pilot and staff operations officer with Headquarters XII tactical Air Command, Bad Kessingen, Germany. He accepted appointment to the Regular Army as a 2nd Lt. in 1946.

After returning to the USA in 1947, he was assigned to the 10th TAC Rescue Wing, Pope AFB, North Carolina flying P-51's and subsequently to the Air Defense Command as an Operations Staff Officer and interceptor (F-94) pilot. In 1953 he volunteered for exchange duty with the U.S. Navy and joined the 191st Fighter Squadron, checking out in the FAF-6 cougar jet fighter and, after corner qualifications; deployed to the Far East and Sea of Japan aboard the USS Oriskany (CVA-34).

While aboard, the movie "Bridges of Toko-Ri" was filmed. Before the cruise ended in April, 1954, he had completed 61 corner landings and 59 catapult launches. His subsequent career included tours of duty as aide to camp to Major General Acheson, professional education at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, aircraft maintenance officer at Andrews AFB, Chief of Maintenance at Bien Hoa AB, RVN, squadron commander of an OM5 in a 5AC B-58 Wing, Chief of Maintenance of an F-100 Wing, Dep. Commander for Material of F-4 Fighter Wing, and Director Logistics of the 4958th Test Wing at WP AFB, Ohio.

He was retired on March 1, 1975, and moved to Moitland, Florida and is now employed as General Manager of a golf car dealership.

He married Marjorie Flynn Ostberg whom he met while stationed at Stewart AFB, Newburgh, New York and they have two daughters and one grandson so far.

List of all p51 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
W.B. 'Tex' Badger Eight and Ninth Air Force in WWII. B-l7's, P-51's and P-47's. Fifth Air Force in Korea, F80's and F86's. WWII and Korea, Flew 156 missions. Tactical units served in with the USAAF and USAF were: 305th BG , 368th Fighter Group, 4th Fighter Group, 49th Fighter Group, 12th Fighter Wing, 506th Fighter Wing.
Robert T. (Bob) Bagby He trained in P47's at Cross City and Dale Mabry Fields, Florida and then joined the 341st FS Black Jack Squadron), 348th FG of the 5th AF in Brisbane, Australia in June 1943. Bob flew 78 combat missions in New Guinea (Port Moresby, Finchafen, Sador, Wakde and Biak) primarily as wingman to squadron CO's John Campbell and John Moore. Also privileged to fly wing to Neil Kirby on several occasions.
Frank Baker After brief stops at Stone and Atcham, England he joined the 313th Fighter Squadron of the 50th Fighter Group in France. He flew 90 missions through V.E. Day. Most of the missions were close support attacks on various ground targets with a few B-26 escort missions thrown in. All of the missions took place in eastern France and southern Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters.
John M. Balason To relieve the boredom, Balason went down on the deck and blew up a locomotive he had observed at altitude. A few seconds after making his strafing pass he received a hit in his left wing tank and a fire started immediately in the cockpit. The paralyzing effect of the intense heat made climbing out of the cockpit impossible.
Albert W. Barlow, Jr. He flew 69 escort and ground support missions. Destroyed one E/A (ME-I09). Was shot down on Sept. 8, 1944, and evaded enemy ground forces for 8 days. Was picked up by an American Recon. Unit behind the German lines. Was hospitalized until Feb. 1948, when he was medically retired with the rank of Capt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart.
William T. Beckler In July, 1944 Beckler exchanged his P-40 for a P-47N Thunderbolt. Missions in the Jug covered Northern Italy and Southern France. These included escorting medium bombers. The Bombers, based in Southern Italy, would be escorted to France by Thunderbolts based on Corsica. Shortly before target the Jugs would pull ahead of the bombers and bomb the enemy gun positions. Beckler's activities while participation in three major campaigns earned him the DFC, two Air Medals and two Presidential citations.
Herbert R. Benson After training in P-47 Thunderbolts at bases in North Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, he was assigned to the European Theatre of operations and joined the 48th Fighter Group 493rd Fighter Squadron at St. Trond, Belgium. After flying 44 combat missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf clusters.
Marvin C. Bigelow Training in the Southeast Training Command with the class of 44C, he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant single engine pilot at Marianna, Florida with the class of 44D. After checking out in the P-40 at Marianna, he transitioned in the P-47 in the Northeast Defense Command and after gunnery at Dover, Delaware was shipped on the Queen Mary to England.
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