Staff Sergeant David Noble Jones, 68 of Baxter passed away suddenly on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 while in the beloved mountains of where he called home.He was born November 24, 1949 in Harlan, KY to Lois Howard Vanover and the late Willie Lincoln Jones. Besides his father he is preceded in death by his wife, Judy Jones.
He survived by his mother, Lois Howard Vanover; three children: Debbie and Husband Billy Boyd, David Jones and Wife Michelle, Brian Jones and Wife Janean, also, survived by four grandchildren: Becky, David, Josh and Kaliegh Ann; 1 brother, Claude Jones and wife Diane; 1 sister, Nancy Boyd and husband William; he leaves a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives to mourn his passing.
He started his Military Career in 1974 at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Immediately upon completion of Basic Training, He was assigned to the 22nd Combat Group, 320th Bombardment Wing, (4th Air Rescue Special Operations Command) as a door-gunner on board a UH1-C Helicopter in U-Tapao, Thailand. The combat crew he was assigned to flew thirteen (13) combat (Air Rescue Missions) over hostile territories. The last mission he flew on involved Two (2) UH1-C helicopters and One (1) Chinook Helicopter. An F-4 Phantom had been shot down by a surface to air missile over hostile territories. As the Chinook was ready to receive the downed pilots, the enemy laid wait. While trying to evacuate the two downed pilots, the Chinook began taking enemy fire and called for support from one (1) of the two (2) UH-1C helicopters to sweep the area. The UH-1C called to action was the one Airman Jones was aboard. As the helicopter was laying down a strong concentration of fire, the Chinook was hit with a SAM missile and became a fire ball in the sky. Also, the UH1-C Airman Jones was aboard was hit by enemy fire on the co-pilot side immediately killing the co-pilot and the adjacent door-gunner. As the helicopter hit the ground, though wounded by shrapnel in the back and leg, Airman Jones concentrated heavy machine gun fire on advancing enemy forces while the wounded pilot from the UH-1C cleared away from the wreckage. As the wounded pilot got with the door-gunner, Jones continued to concentrate machine gun fire on advancing hostile troops which later led to small arms fire until the remaining UH-1C helicopter finally upon the third pass was able to evacuate the wounded pilot and Airman Jones.
For his bravery Airman Jones received the following medals while serving on hostile territories, Air Medal, Purple Heart, Air Force Commendation with V Device, US Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Medal, The Air Medal is awarded to an individual while serving in the armed forces that has distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. The award is to recognize single acts of merit or heroism. Also, the award is primarily intended to recognize those personnel who are on current combat crews. Examples of personnel whose combat duties require them to fly include those in the attack elements of units involved in air-land assaults against an armed enemy.
Upon returning state side, Jones was stationed at Lowery Air Force Base in Denver, CO. There Jones changed his military career to Weapons Specialist. While there, he earned EOD Badge, Weapons Maintenance Badge and Air Crew Wings.
After his training at Lowery, Jones was shipped to the National Parachute Test Range in El Centro, CA. There being assigned to the 6511th test squadron, Jones worked on many top classified projects at the time. Most notable was the experimental testing of the Air launch Tomahawk Cruise Missile. Second, the rigging of explosive devices to blow the parachutes during landing for the Space Shuttle Columbia, Third, B1 Bomber ejection seats. Fourth, Venus Probe Satellite. And loaded weapons on a host of aircraft. F-111, F-4, B1, AC 130 Spectre Air Gun Ships (crew member), F-15 and several helicopters. Jones, finished his stint in the US Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base in Eglin Fl. Where he was assigned to the 33rd TAC, 3207th MMS. There, Jones was involved in several classified missions with NASA not known still today and decorated with numerous medals.
Upon his exit with an honorable discharge from the US Air Force, Jones moved back to his home town of Harlan KY. There he worked as cutting machine operator in the coal mines until a disabling injury in 1986.
Visitation will be 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Friday (August 17) at the Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 pm Saturday (August 18) in the Chapel of the Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home with Rev. Donnie Adkinsson officiating.
Burial will follow in the Resthaven Cemetery at Keith, KY with Full Military Rites being observed by the Harlan Honor Guard.
Please feel free to leave a condolence, memory, or photo at www.aljfh.com
Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Staff Sergeant David Noble Jones.