In , Jones enlisted in the Territorial Army , though he was soon transferred into the newly established Royal Flying Corps , serving as an air mechanic on ground duties where he earned the Military Medal before volunteering for flying duties as an Observer. Jones commenced pilot training in August after being commissioned. After completing his training he joined No. Throughout his service at No. Although having a reputation for crashing his aircraft when attempting to land, Jones recorded 37 victories in just 3 months whilst flying the Royal Aircraft Factory S.
After retiring in , Jones was recommissioned after the outbreak of the Second World War, and flew briefly during the Battle of Britain. He died in through complications after a fall at his home in Wales. Jones was born on 18 April at Woolstone Farm, near St. Clears , Carmarthenshire. In , while working as a clerk, Jones enlisted with the 4th Welsh in the Territorial Army. Jones was posted to France in July Jones was awarded the Military Medal in May , for rescuing two wounded gunners under artillery fire whilst he was working at a wireless interception station in the front line.
He was awarded the Russian Order of the Cross of St. George in January after receiving several commendations for bravery. In May he was sent to England to commence pilot training and he was commissioned in August After completing his training, Jones was posted to No. Jones was awarded several decorations during the First World War. On 3 August , the London Gazette announced that Jones was to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the following citation: "In eleven days this officer attacked and destroyed six enemy aeroplanes, displaying great courage, skill and initiative.
In September Jones was awarded the Military Cross. His citation read:. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This officer, one of an offensive patrol, engaged and shot down in flames a two-seater, which fell to earth. Ten days later, on offensive patrol, he shot down a Hannover two-seater, which crashed. The next day, when patrolling, he pursued, overtook and shot down an Albatross two-seater. During the same flight he met a Halberstadt two-seater and killed the observer, who either jumped or fell overboard, but had to break off as his ammunition was finished.
The next day he shot a balloon down in flames. Three days later he got a good burst with both guns on a Pfalz scout, both wings coming off. He has driven two others down out of control. The Gazette described Jones as being a "A gallant officer who in the last three months has destroyed twenty-one enemy aeroplanes.
Since joining his present Brigade in May last this officer has destroyed twenty-eight enemy machines. He combines skilful tactics and marksmanship with high courage. While engaged on wireless interception duty he followed a patrol of nine Fokker biplanes, and succeeded in joining their formation unobserved. Following them, Captain Jones engaged the higher of the two, which fell on its companion, and both machines fell interlocked in flames.
In June , Jones became a flight commander. Throughout his service career, Jones had a reputation for crashing his aircraft when attempting to land, reportedly surviving relatively unscathed some 28 flying accidents of varying severity. By the end of the War though, he had scored 37 victories in just 3 months whilst flying the Royal Aircraft Factory S. Jones was once quoted as saying: "It is wonderful how cheered a pilot becomes after he shoots down his first machine; his morale increases by at least percent. Some officers, of the Eton and Sandhurst type, thought it was 'unsportsmanlike' to do it.
Never having been to a public school, I was unhampered by such considerations of form. I just pointed out that there was a bloody war on, and that I intended to avenge my pals. Vic Hand served as an armourer under Jones' command at 53 OTU in and , and recalls: "Taffy designed an unofficial badge for 53 OTU by adding wings to the tiger head of his 74 Squadron, but I cannot recall the motto.
Maybe it was in Welsh. He had a habit of raising his drinking arm to the horizontal when toasting 'One f-f-for the T-t-tiger' in his unfortunate but endearing stutter. Likewise when referring to we, his ground staff, as 'm-my m-mechanics'.
After the end of hostilities, Jones volunteered to fight with the White movement against the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War and was posted to the Archangel front , but saw no further air combat. Sources are uncertain as to the extent of Jones' service in the Second World War. One of his obituaries quotes a story from when, at the age of 45, Jones tried to get into the Royal Air Force at Windsor Castle. It's a young man's game. It was here that one of his most famed actions occurred when, whilst flying an unarmed Hawker Henley near Swansea, he attacked a Junkers Ju 88 bomber with a Very pistol , a type of flare gun.
His actions were enough to fight off the Junkers, which returned to its base. He reportedly flew several unofficial operations in a Spitfire, taking part in several fighter sweeps over Europe.
After the war he returned to St Clears and a career in the Ministry of Pensions. Jones died on 30 August after a fall at home in Aberaeron , and was buried at Cana Chapelyard, near Bancyfelin. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. James Ira Thomas Jones. Sarnau Chapelyard, Bancyfelin. The Aerodrome. Retrieved 9 August Three Journeys. Llandysul : Gomer Press. Retrieved 15 April The London Gazette Supplement. London, UK: Grub Street. Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering. Annapolis: United States Naval Institute.
Retrieved 22 August April Tiger News. The London Gazette. The Bridgeport Post. Bridgeport, Connecticut. Laugharne War Memorial. Archived from the original on 8 April Namespaces Article Talk.
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