The Memorial Cross of American LAC JONES – George VI (LAC L.C. JONESR-147302). Naming is officially engraved. Contact marks and gilt wear, very fine. Accompanied by a CD containing twenty-five pages with copies of his Computer Card (confirming his eligibility for the War Medal 1939-1945 and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal), Index Card, Attestation Paper, Service Records, two Letters of Recommendation, Wyoming States Board of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics Certificate of Birth, Province of Ontario Certificate of Registration of Death, RCAF Casualty Notification (dated January 14, 1943), RCAF Officer or Airman’s Report on Accidental of Self-Inflicted Injuries or Immediate Death Therefrom for Pilot Richard B. Steelman, Report of Death of United States Citizen in Military Service, Will, Estates Branch Application and Accompanying Sympathy Letter.
Footnote: Lester Charles Jones was born on March 4, 1921 in Lingle, Goshen County, Wyoming, the son of Walter Richard Jones and Dorotha D. Jones. He had two brothers: 37455079 Private Walter Leonard Jones, 413 Infantry, Camp Adair, Oregon and Kenneth Elmer Jones, along with three sisters: Anna Maxine Jones, Dorothy Jean Jones and Betty Lou Jones.
He spent his first two years in Wyoming (1921-1922) before moving with his parents to Nebraska (1923-1930), then to Colorado (1931), before returning to Nebraska (1931-1940). He attended Hope School (1931-1935) in Alliance, Nebraska, then transferred to Alliance High School in 1936, where he graduated in May 1939.
He worked jobs as a Station Attendant at Perry’s Super Service Station in Alliance (August 1939 to January 1940) and as a Ranch Hand (June 1940 to August 1940), before leaving to find his fortune in California in August 1940. He attended Pacific Aircraft Technical School for aircraft construction at Hawthorne, California (October to December 1940) before being hired by the Lockheed Aeroplane Factory as a casting fitter and frame builder.
He returned to Nebraska in October 1941, remaining there until December, when he left for Canada to join the Royal Canadian Air Force.
He had two letters of recommendation to join the air force: one from George H. Bell, addressed to Captain Hathaway at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California (dated October 29, 1941) stating that Jones “would like to enlist in the Royal Air Force” and the other from Harold Perry of Perry’s Super Service Station in Alliance. Jones signed his RCAF Attestation Paper on December 18, 1941 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, naming his next-of-kin as his father, stating that he was an American citizen, he had no previous military service, that he had not previously applied to the RCAF for admission, that he was single and that his occupation was that of Aircraft Worker.
He was posted as an Aircraftman Second Class, Aircrew, to be a Pilot or Observer, at No. 2 Manning Depot in Brandon, Manitoba the following day.
While at No. 2 Manning Depot, he was hospitalized for two weeks at Brandon General Hospital from January 24 to February 6, 1942, the illness undisclosed. After two months at No. 2 Manning Depot, he was transferred to the TTS (Technical Training School) at St. Thomas, Ontario on February 12, 1942, where he was to remain for another two months, before being transferred to the ITS (Initial Training School) at Toronto, Ontario on April 11, 1942.
It was at ITS where he was to see a promotion to Leading Aircraftman on June 5th. He was now deemed ready for flight school, as he was transferred to No. 7 EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School) in Windsor, Ontario on August 1, 1942, where he trained on Tiger Moth aircraft, attaining a total flight time of Dual (33:40) and Solo (31:15) during the day and Dual (2:00) at night.
That Fall, he was transferred to No. 16 SFTS (Service Flying Training School) in Hagersville, Ontario on October 10, 1942, where he trained on Anson Mark II aircraft, attaining a total flight time of Dual (26:45) and Solo (27:25) during the day and Dual (2:00) at night.
He was hospitalized for two days at Hagersville Station Hospital from December 13th to 15th, again with another undisclosed illness.
Jones was killed on January 6, 1943, at the age of 21, as the result of a flying accident during a routine training flight near Guelph, Ontario, when the Anson Mark II, No. 8266 aircraft crashed at 14:30 in Puslinch Township, two miles south-west of Morriston, Ontario. His autopsy showed that he suffered “crushing and lacerations” injuries, incorporating multiple fractures to his skull, spine and legs. He was one of three airmen on the flight, all of which were killed.
In addition to Jones, R145299 Richard Bertram Steelman (Student Pilot. age 27) and J13066 Pilot/Officer John Caskie, who was piloting the aircraft, with 71 hours Dual and 100 hours Solo to his credit, also died. In his Flying & Ground Training Report on Pupil Pilot, it listed the cause of the accident as “obscure” but noted that Jones had scored well in Natural Skill, Skill in Landing, Airmanship, Cockpit Drill, Instrument Flying, Night Flying and Aerobatics.
While with the EFTS, it was noted that he was a “Good average pupil pilot, fairly persistent, good sense, endurance, decision, very cool, quite natural in the air, also quick. Conduct and deportment average.” Also, while with the SFTS, he was documented as “A pupil who applied himself with favourable progress, seemed cool but not too confident in his own opinion. Instrument flying good average. Navigation just average. Training ceased due to fatal accident on Jan. 6th/43.” and that “This pupil was making good progress towards graduation.”
Jones‘ body was returned to his parents and he was buried at Alliance Cemetery, Alliance, Nebraska, Grave Reference: Lot 22. Section 5. Block 9. Grave 7.
In his Will, dated December 20, 1941, he stated that “I Give, Devise and Bequeath unto my father, Mr. Walter R.Jones, Alliance, Neb., All My Estate”. He also was insured with the New York Life Insurance Company, which paid out to his father. Jones was posthumously awarded the War Medal 1939-1945 and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal for his war service, the medals going to his father, his parents receiving the Royal Message upon his death which was forwarded by the government on February 19, 1943, while his mother was forwarded his Memorial Cross on the 23rd, as presented here for sale.
Someday that Website will probably disappear as well as all the homage rendered on it.
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