Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Jones, Herbert C.

Jones, Herbert C.

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Ensign, USNR, (1918-1941)

Herbert Charpiot Jones was born in Los Angeles, California, on 21 January 1918. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve in May 1935. After receiving Midshipmen's training on board the drill ship Prairie State (IX-15), he was commissioned in the rank of Ensign in November 1940. During the 7 December 1941 Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor, he was serving as an officer in USS California (BB-44). When his ship was attacked and badly damaged, he rescued a sailor from a smoke-filled compartment, then led an anti-aircraft battery in firing on the raiders. When the ammunition hoists were put out of action, Ensign Jones organized an ammunition passing party and led it until he was fatally injured by a bomb. He then refused evacuation out of fear for the lives of his rescuers. For his heroism during the Pearl Harbor battle, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.


The escort ship USS Herbert C. Jones (DE-137), 1943-1973, was named in honor of Ensign Jones.


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