Member of first African-American tank unit honored at Camp Shelb - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Member of first African-American tank unit honored at Camp Shelby

Posted: Updated:
CAMP SHELBY, MS (WLOX) -

Private First Class James Jones of Laurel was recognized Saturday by Congressman Steven Palazzo for service as a member of the First African-American tank unit in WWII.

Jones is a WWII veteran and was a member of the 761st Tank Battalion, which was the first African-American tank unit to fight combat, according to a statement issued by Palazzo.

"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."

At the age of 21 Jones was drafted into the Army, training at Camp Lee in Virginia. He was sent to a Replacement Detachment near Paris, France. That's where he was hand-selected for the 761st Tank Battalion as a gunner.
 
Jones' battalion stands out after taking part in numerous critical battles including The Battle of the Rhine. President Jimmy Carter went on to award the 761st Battalion with a Presidential Unit Citation for Extraordinary Heroism. Jones went on to work for the American Battle Monuments Commission, where he worked on recovering, cataloging, and properly burying the remains of American war casualties in Europe. According to Palazzo, despite these contributions, Jones never received the medals he was due from his service. Saturday marks the first time Palazzo awarded Jones with the following medals:
 
•        Marksman Badge and Rifle Bar
•        WWII Honorable Service lapel button
•        Presidential Unit Citation ribbon
•        American Campaign Medal
•        European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four bronze stars
•        Army of Occupation Medal with Germany clasp
•        World War II Victory Medal.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.
 


 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Ocean Springs man's outlook inspires those around him

    Ocean Springs man's outlook inspires those around him

    Sunday, April 20 2014 2:38 PM EDT2014-04-20 18:38:59 GMT
    June 4, 2008 Steven Lowery dove into a local river, broke his neck, and was left paralyzed. Many would have become depressed and withdrawn. But Steven's remarkable outlook on life is inspiring others.More >>
    June 4, 2008 is the day that Steven Lowery's life changed forever. That day he was spending time with friends at a local river. He dove in, broke his neck, and was left paralyzed. Many people suffering that tragedy would have become withdrawn and distant. But you don't know Steven and his remarkable outlook on life.More >>
  • Spring breakers enjoy the coast

    Spring breakers enjoy the coast

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:00:18 GMT
    It was a busy day on the beaches of Biloxi Saturday, as people came out to enjoy the sun on the second day of Mississippi Gulf Coast Spring Break.More >>
    It was a busy day on the beaches of Biloxi Saturday, as people came out to enjoy the sun on the second day of Mississippi Gulf Coast Spring Break.More >>
  • Water advisories issued for 6 areas of the beach

    Water advisories issued for 6 areas of the beach

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:55 AM EDT2014-04-19 11:55:08 GMT
    Advisories have been issued for several sections of the beach in Harrison and Hancock counties. The beaches aren't closed, but there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in these areas.More >>
    Advisories have been issued for several sections of the beach in Harrison and Hancock counties. The beaches aren't closed, but there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in these six areas.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.