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COL Robert E. Jones passed away


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I didn't know where else to post this so put it here.


Retired Army COL Robert Ellis Jones passed away earlier this month. He was a true American hero in every sense of the word and I was proud to have called him a friend. Below is an abbreviated version of his obituary.



Col. (Ret.) Robert Ellis Jones, 90, Clarksville, died Thursday,

Sept. 13, 2007, at his residence. Born 19 July 1917, in Montreal, Canada,

Colonel Jones was commissioned in the United States Army as a 2nd Lt.

Infantry, 22 May 1939. Jones served in Troop F, 111th Cavalry, NMNG, CCC,

and 33 years active duty. Upon graduation from Parachute School 23 May 1942

and assignment to 502d PIR, he served in various assignments, to include

participation in Normandy and Rhineland Campaigns WWII. Jones was wounded in

Holland during Operation Market Garden while commanding "H" Company, 502d

PIR, and returned to the US in February 1945 for hospitalization.


Colonel Jones was assigned to The Parachute School, Fort Benning,

Ga., May 1945 to May 1948, then to 511th PIR, 11th Airborne Division, Camp

Haugen, Japan. He was subsequently assigned to the 32d Infantry Regiment,

7th Infantry Division in April 1949. Jones engaged in five offensive

campaigns in Korea. He participated in the Inchon landing as Company

Commander "C" Company, 32d Infantry. As a participant in the Chosin

Reservoir attack in North Korea as S1 of the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry,

Jones led the remnants of that Battalion, himself, two other officers and 18

soldiers, out of Chosin Reservoir while attached to the 7th Marine Regiment,

1st Marine Division. He remained in Korea as Executive Officer and Battalion

Commander until his return to the United States in June 1951.


Jones served as an Airborne Instructor at the Command and General

Staff College 1951-1954, followed by a three year tour in Hawaii as a

National Guard Advisor, G3 Staff Officer and as G5 US Army Pacific. His next

assignments were with the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 327th Infantry

1957-1960, and as Executive Officer, Deputy Commander and Group Commander,

Fort Campbell, Ky.


In 1960, Jones was assigned as an Infantry Unit Advisor to the

Turkish Third Army. In 1961, he was selected to attend the US Army War

College; upon completion he was assigned to Special Warfare Directorate,

Office of the Chief of Staff for Operations, Department of the Army at the

Pentagon 1962-1964, then to the Joints Chiefs of Staff J3, actively engaged

in planning and operations of the Vietnam Conflict. Initially assigned to

USAEUR Heidelberg In August 1966, Jones assumed command of the 10th Special

Forces Group (ABN) Bad Toelz, Germany. Upon return of the Group to the US in

September 1968, he traveled to Vietnam to serve as Deputy Director, Phoenix

Directorate, COORDS, HQ MACV until June 3, 1970. He then departed to be

Chief of Staff and Deputy Installation Commander, Fort Lewis, Wash.


Colonel Jones received his Bachelor of Science degree from New

Mexico A&M College in 1939, with Post Graduate work at the University of

Texas. In 1965, he received a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs

from George Washington University.


Colonel Jones' awards and decorations include: Distinguished Service

Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two clusters, Bronze Star with

cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal with two clusters, Purple Heart

with cluster, Army Commendation Medal with Metal Pendant, Presidential Unit

Citation (Army), Presidential Unit Citation 1st and 2d Awards (Navy),

Belgian Fourraguere, French Croix De Guerre with Palm, Netherlands Orange

Lanyard, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnamese Police

Medal of Honor 1st Class, Vietnamese Rural Revolutionary Development Medal,

and various other Service Medals. He received the Combat Infantry Badge with

Star, the Master Parachute Badge and a Glider Badge. Jones was awarded the

Departments of Army General Staff Identification and Joint Chiefs of Staff

Identification Badges.


After retirement from active duty in 1973, Colonel Jones resided in

Clarksville, where he continued his public service through many military and

community pursuits. He was granted and assigned the distinction of being the

original Honorary Colonel of the 502nd Infantry Regiment, a Distinguished

Member of the 502nd Infantry Regiment and a Distinguished Member of the

327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.


Jones was past President and Chairman of the Board for the 101st

Airborne Division Association; Chairman of the Board for the 32d Infantry

Regimental Association; and a Member of The Chosin Few, survivors of the

Chosin Reservoir action. In 1997, a building at Fort Drum, N.Y. was named

for Colonel Jones by the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry Regiment to recognize

his leadership in bringing the Battalion's last remnants out of Chosin



Colonel Jones was named by Rotary International as a Paul Harris

Fellow. He was a past Worthy Patron of Eastern Star; 32d Degree Mason for

more than 50 years, a Sojourner and a Knights Templar. Jones was named by

the 101st Airborne Division Association as The Airborne Man of the Year when

he was president of the Association. He received the ultimate honor of being

named The Airborne Man of the Year from The Static Line, an organization of

all airborne associations comprising many tens of thousands of warriors.


Colonel Jones was a co-incorporator and Chairman of the Board of

Directors for the Fort Campbell Historical Foundation, which is building the

Wings of Liberty Military Museum at Fort Campbell.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I received the following message through email from the family, who requested that I post this to the board:


Thank you so much for the kind words regarding my father.

He was a soldier's soldier and we will miss him very much.


Reta Jones Nicholson

proud daughter and Army Brat

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for posting this info, however sad. I've had a great interest in the army units near the Chosin (Changjin) Reservoir, and recognized his name immediately.


COL Jones was immortalized in East of Chosin and Escaping the Trap, both by Roy Appleman. Jones, as a captain, was involved in RCT 31's doomed mission east of the reservoir and was awarded his DSC for actions at Hill 1221, one of at least nine DSC's awarded to those of RCT 31. His medal was for the same assault in which LTC Don Faith earned his MoH, albeit posthumously.


This photo was taken in Japan just prior to Korea:



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