Navy veteran Jones joined war late, saw plenty of action
Ernie Jones turned 17 just in time to join the Navy before the end of World War II. Perhaps he was a latecomer to the war effort, but he managed to see plenty of action nonetheless. He wound up on one of the most decorated ships of the entire war, and saw action in 13 different areas in the Pacific Theatre.
Jones joined the Navy in November 1944 and was sent to the USS Pennsylvania in May 1945. A survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Pennsylvania, Jones was on board during the bombing of Wake Island, then on to Saipan for ammunition before ending up in Okinawa. That’s where the action really got heated.
“As the Navy flagship, we took the admiral aboard, and a Japanese plane dropped a torpedo, striking the Pennsylvania in the rear propeller,” Jones said.
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