Special to the Item
The Picayune Item
CAMP SHELBY —
“Today, PFC Jones stands as a survivor of World War II, and one of only 10 known members of the 761st Battalion,” Palazzo stated. “When you look at Mr. Jones' service, you can't help but notice the critical battles in which he fought and the way he directly contributed to the Allied victory. I feel fortunate to be able to award him these long overdue medals today and to thank him personally for his service.”
James B. Jones was born in Laurel, Miss., on March 22, 1922. After being drafted for service in the Army at the age of 21, James trained at Camp Lee, Virginia and was eventually sent to a Replacement Detachment near Paris, France. It was there he was hand-selected for the 761st Tank Battalion as a gunner.
The 761st distinguished itself in numerous critical battles, including The Battle of the Rhine. It was this extraordinary service that led President Jimmy Carter to award the 761st Tank Battalion with a Presidential Unit Citation for Extraordinary Heroism.
Jones continued his service following the War, working with the American Battle Monuments Commission. The Commission was tasked with recovering, cataloging, and properly interring the remains of American war casualties in Europe.
Despite these contributions, Jones never received the medals he was due from his service.