Robert Jones, Jr.

Robert Jones, Jr.

Robert Jones, Jr. was born June 12, 1924 in Newberry, SC to Robert, Sr. and Mabel Garrett Jones. Upon moving to Jamestown, Robert attended Jamestown Public Schools and graduated from JHS.
In 1943 at the age of eighteen he enlisted in the US Army Air Corp. Robert was stationed in Louisiana and in 1944 was transferred to Moton Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama. Here at Moton and Tuskegee University, Robert began his training and education to become one of only 992 pilots, who came to be known as the Tuskegee Airmen; all black military pilots in the still segregated armed forces. Jones graduated from flight school on March 11, 1945 as a flight officer with the rank of lieutenant. Of the 992 Tuskegee Airmen to graduate, only 355 were ever deployed overseas and of those eighty-four lost their lives. Robert Jones, Jr. was not deployed before the end of the war.

Robert returned home following the war. He married Charlene Mitchell on July 3, 1947 and they raised a daughter, Marlene here in Jamestown. The family attended the Blackwell Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church and Robert was a member of the Chadakoin Lodge 518 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and was a life member of the Frederick Douglass Council and was a member of the Past Exalted Rulers Council.
Robert was employed by the City of Jamestown as a foreman at the Department of Public Works for 34 years before retiring in the early 1980’s. In March of 1964, he is credited with averting an almost certain disaster on Sprague Street hill. While operating a 10 ton loader on Sprague Street, the loader’s brakes failed and it careened out of control down the hill. Jones was praised by DPW Director, Roger Burgeson, for his courage for wrestling the steering wheel in an effort to get the machine off the road before as it made its way to Steele Street at the bottom of the hill. hill. Jones was able to turn the loader enough to jump the curb the curb, snapping off a utility pole, before overturning on its side. Jones was seriously injured, sustaining several broken ribs, a concussion and many lacerations. He recovered and worked twenty more years for the DPW.
Robert Jones, Jr. passed away May 10, 1995 at the age of seventy. He and his wife are buried on Section 26.