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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Jones, Claud A.

Jones, Claud A.

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Rear Admiral, USN, (1885-1948)

Claud Ashton Jones was born on 7 October 1885 in Fire Creek, West Virginia. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from that state in 1903 and graduated with the Class of 1906. He served in the battleships Indiana and New Jersey during the next three years and received his commission as an Ensign in 1908. Between 1909 and 1915, Jones was assigned to the training ship Severn and the armored cruiser North Carolina, received post-graduate engineering education at the Naval Academy and Harvard University, and served in the battleships Ohio, New York and North Dakota. He was promoted to Lieutenant (Junior Grade) in 1911 and Lieutenant in 1914.

Late in 1915 Lieutenant Jones reported for duty as Engineer Officer of the armored cruiser Tennessee (renamed Memphis in May 1916). He was severely injured when she was wrecked by a tsunami on 29 August 1916. Many years later, in recognition of his heroic conduct in rescuing crewmen from the dying ship's steam-filled engineering spaces, then-Commander Jones was awarded the Medal of Honor. After recovering from his ordeal, he served ashore in industrial positions until after the end of World War I.

Lieutenant Commander Jones was designated as a specialist engineering duty officer in 1918 and in 1920-1921, in the rank of Commander, was Engineer Officer of the new battleship Tennessee. During the 1920s and into the early 1930s he had two Navy Department tours with the Bureau of Engineering, served in Europe as an Assistant Naval Attache and was senior engineering officer with the Battle Fleet. He was promoted to Captain in 1933, while again on duty with the Bureau of Engineering, and was Assistant Chief of that Bureau in 1935-1936. Captain Jones had machinery and materiel inspection assignments for the rest of the decade, then returned to Washington, D.C., to serve as Head of the Shipbuilding Division of the Bureau of Ships.

As a Rear Admiral, he was the Bureau's Assistant Chief and, for much of World War II, Assistant Chief of Procurement and Material. He became Director of the Naval Experiment Station at Annapolis, Maryland, from September 1944 until nearly the end of 1945. Retired in June 1946, Rear Admiral Claud A. Jones died at Charleston, West Virginia, on 8 August 1948.

The escort ship Claud Jones (DE-1033), of 1959-1974, was named in honor of Rear Admiral Jones.

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