James Gradey Jones

Lieutenant (junior grade)
United States Navy
14 August 1939 - 12 November 1966
Birmingham, Alabama
Panel 12E Line 063

Naval Aviator

DFC, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
James G. Jones

The database page for James Gradey Jones

25 Dec 2001

When my brother Jimmy was killed in action November 12, 1966, he left behind a large family and a great number of friends who still remember him fondly. Jimmy had a great personality, he was both outgoing and athletic and I'm sure there are a number of people he flew with who have remembrances which I hope they are willing to share.

I was only 10 years old at the time. However, I remember it vividly, the day he said his last goodbyes. Sitting up in bed, in Pensacola, Fla. as my mother, father, brother and I were headed back home from our visit, I remember thinking, this may be the last time I ever see him again and I took a long thoughtful look.

In my late 30's I began to research the Vietnam War and write songs pertaining to the Vietnam experience.

Jimmy's death has affected me in a number of ways in the way I look at life and politics, etc. The complexities of Vietnam and the fact that he was listed MIA for a number of years make it impossible to ever achieve "closure." Nowadays, my touchstone to remember him is a diary he left behind and the hope that some of his old buddies he mentioned in his diary will post a remembrance or contact me.

His survivors are myself (Brett Jones of Franklin, TN.), Nancy Parker of Dunwoody, GA., Julie Ann Kellum of Indianapolis, Ind., Robert B. Jones of Greenville, S.C., and Jimmy's two children Jane and Scott Jones. Old friends are welcome to email me at brett.jones@fuzzydicemusic.com .

Brett Jones

11 Nov 2002

When my brother Don joined the Air Force and went to Thailand during Vietnam I was about 6 years old. I never thought much about the war over there then, just baseball. I remember seeing news footage of Walter Cronkite in the rain and ankle deep mud with bloody Soldiers. When my brother came home after two tours on the Cambodian and Laos borders, he did not talk too much. Then in 1980 I joined the Navy to do my part just like the men in my family did, all of them lucky enough to come home -- WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I did not see any combat on the Amphibious Assault ship that I was stationed on but I talked to Marines and sailors that did see the tail end of the war.

I wear James G. Jones' POW/MIA bracelet. I picked his bracelet out of a lot of choices. LTJG Jones' bracelet was like a magnet, I had to have that one to remind me of the sacrifices my fellow Sailors have made. I think the LT. wanted it this way.

I am sure if I knew LTJG Jones I would have served him proud or would have been a good friend. After 9-11 I bought a bracelet for a fellow Police Officer who gave his life in New York. Today I wear both bracelets. I am proud of all that have given the ultimate sacrifice for our Country.

To the Jones Family go my thoughts and prayers.
God Bless the Jones' and God bless America.

From a fellow Sailor and wearer of James Jones' MIA Bracelet,
Anthony Bour

27 Sep 2004

It is said, the good die young ... my brother, the oldest of six children, was the best, most moral, and certainly most courageous of us all. He will always live in our hearts.

With Love and great pride in who you were and what you did for all of us,
From your sister,
Nancy Jones Parker

23 Jul 2007

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

Lieutenant (junior grade)
United States Navy

for service as set forth in the following


For heroic achievement in aerial flight while serving as a pilot attached to and serving with Attack Squadron 12 embarked on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA42). While operating against the enemy in North Vietnam on 11 November 1966, Lieutenant Jones was assigned the vital task of flak supression in a two carrier combined strike effort against the Ninh Binh railroad yards involving forty aircraft. The yards were formidably defended by multitudinous heavy antiaircraft batteries, and the success of the mission depended upon the silencing of these batteries prior to the attack by the strike aircraft. Approaching the target area Lieutenant Jones maneuvered with his flight leader to position himself most advantageously for the flak supression run. At the instant prior to the attack he rolled his aircraft into a dive, and fired his missile into a preassigned antiaircraft site. Despite the intense antiaircraft fire that enshrouded his aircraft, Lieutenant Jones continued in his run, and unerringly guided his first missile directly to the flak site. He then observed that the main strike force had come under attack from yet another antiaircraft site. Wheeling his aircraft around Lieutenant Jones made a point blank low altitude attack on this site with his second missile. The missile exploded in the middle of the flak site and a huge secondary explosion and fireball erupted. The battery fell silent and the strike force that he had been assigned to protect was able to continue its attack without further opposition. By his coolness under fire, courage, and determination in carrying out his dangerous attack Lieutenant Jones was directly instrumental in the success of the strike. His performance was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval service.

Lieutenant Jones was killed the next day, 12 November 1966, while returning from a night combat mission.

From his brother,
Robert B. Jones
E-mail address is not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Attack Squadron 12 lost two men when A-4Es 150048 and 150051, piloted by CDR Robert C. Frosio and LTJG James G. Jones respectively, collided during a section approach to the ship. The remains of the two men were not recovered.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother,
Brett Jones
1806 Old Natchez Trace, Franklin, TN

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index J
AL State Index . Panel 12E
VA-12 Index

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 25 Dec 2001
Last updated 11/13/2010