Veterans History Project: Jacques Jones - - Jackson, MS

Veterans History Project: Jacques Jones

By Jennifer Martin - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Jacques Jones was born and raised in France. His father was an American marine serving there. But when the Germans invaded, the family moved to the United States.

"I joined the army because they were the only ones who would accept me."

He was sent to Camp Shelby.

"I was put in the line company, 3rd battalion, 155. And I was asked one day to go to headquarters. And I was asked if I'd volunteer to be a scout, in the S2 section. I said, yes of course."

He was sent, first, to New Guinea. He says fear was a part of duty that every soldier had to deal with.

"Fear, everybody's got it. People who said they were never afraid, I don't believe it."

Jones still remembers his most frightening experience.

"It was in New Guinea.  First two snipers were shooting at me and I could not stop. I was in open terrain. Then I come to a spot where there was activity. Then I hear the shell come. And there was just what was left of a tree between the two of us. But dammit, I was... I could not move. When they say it takes you in the belly, it's true. You have to make your brain work.

I had a good fright. But three minutes later, it's over. It's finished. And I've never been afraid like that after that again, never. Because I knew all you have to do is think."

His next stop was along Indonesia's Maluku Islands.

"So Morotai, small island, so we landed there. We made many landings. I think... I did not even know it. I read afterwards, 14 landings, the division made that day.

We had to do everything, even go and empty the cargos. We had to fight, but also to go down to get the ammunition, the food out of the cargos when they arrived. We were very busy. Even when we had nothing to do, we had to be ready to do something."

He says he was well fed and had all the supplies he needed, except in the Philippines, where clean water was scarce.

"We must have been the 'Stinking 155.' Because I don't know if we washed. I don't know how long. We had no water.  I had trained to go without water. I used to give my water away. But at that time, I went dog-gone thirsty and I remember drinking water with worms."

He was discharged in December 1945 and got married soon after. He moved back to France in 1948.

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