Sgt Clyde Jones Happy Birthday Sept 15, 2015

Medals awarded from left to right, 2 Purple Hearts, Bronze Star Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, World War II Victory Medal with 3 battle stars, Good Conduct Medal and the Combat Infantry Riflemans Badge (which he is wearing on his uniform in left picture)

Pin center left is referred to as the Ruptured Duck. That pin is sometimes called the Honorable Service Lapel Pin was awarded to United States military service members who were discharged under honorable conditions during World War II. The award is sometimes colloquially called the Ruptured Duck. Sculptor Anthony de Francisci designed the award.

In 1944 Clyde was notified to report for possible induction into the United States Army and was sent to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia for a physical to determine his eligibility. He was instructed to report to Camp Shelby, Mississippi where on April the 1st, 1944 he was sworn into the United States Army. He was sent to Fort McClellan, Alabama where he spent seventeen weeks in Basic Training after which he was allowed a nine day delay-in-route at home to spend time with his family before departing for Europe. He went to Fort Mead, Maryland to await transportation and three days later on September 15th departed on the troop carrier USS Wakefield from the Boston Harbor.


On September 22nd he arrived in Liverpool, England and waited there two weeks preparing to go into the European Battle Theater. Crossing the English Channel he landed on Omaha Beach near Normandy, France on October 6th, 1944. There he was assigned to the 44th Infantry Division, 71st Infantry Regiment, and Company F seeing his first combat near Nancy, France. He doesn't remember exactly where or when but, he was first wounded in fighting somewhere outside Nancy, France in the Vosges Mountains. It happened as he was walking behind a tank when they came under mortar attack. He took cover lying in the tank tracks and was hit with a small piece of shrapnel. It came from behind hitting his backpack, passing threw it and cutting a candy bar inside in half. The shrapnel entered his back stopping under his left arm in his side. After a visit to the aid station it was removed and he was patched up and quickly returned to the line to continue fighting on into Germany.


Due to heavy casualties in the 45th Infantry Division more experienced soldiers were transferred from other units and paired up with new recruits to re-man the 45th Division. After only three months with the 44th Division he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to the 45th Infantry Division Thunderbirds, 157th Regiment, Company D Light Infantry, 3rd Platoon, in late January, 1945. He was assigned as squad leader on a 60MM Mortar Squad which consisted of him, PFC's Birdwell, Feldkamp, Bochardt, and Ralph Walker and sent to Brussels Belgium for 3 days training.


From January the 21st until March the 13th the regiment occupied defensive positions and rotated into a rest area while the unit was rebuilt and trained for the planned attack to break through the Siegfried Line. The regiment moved out of the rest areas on 13th March and moved to staging points for the Seventh Army offensive, which kicked off on March 15th. By March the 20th the Siegfried Line had been penetrated and the Germans began a withdrawal to the Rhine River with the regiment pursuing them at great speed crossing of the Rhine near Hamm on March 26th. On March the 28th the regiment crossed the Mainz at Obernau on a railroad bridge and found itself involved in close-quarters fighting against bitterly resisting SS troops in the city of Aschaffenburg.


The fierce fighting, including a pitched battle for the town castle, went on until the city fell on April the 3rd, 1945. During this battle in the town of Schweinheim near Aschaffenburg, Germany he was wounded the second time. On March the 29th along with platoon Sergeant Crider and another soldier they took cover in steps that led down into a cellar. Sitting side by side he said to Sergeant Crider "that tank is going to get us in trouble" referring to an American tank that stopped in the street next to them and was firing down the street at enemy locations. Just moments later an artillery round hit the tank and shrapnel and parts of the tank bounced off and hit both him and Sergeant Crider. Sergeant Crider was hit in the chest by a piece of metal from the tank and killed instantly, the other solider was also hit but extent was unknown.


Also on this same day the Company Commander, 2nd Lieutenant Neal, who had just taken over command from Lieutenant Soroci whom had himself been wounded, was killed along with several others in his unit. Although seriously wounded in the back from several pieces of shrapnel, Clyde walked back over one mile to an aid station where it was determined that his wounds were severe enough to be evacuated back to a hospital. He was airlifted to Commercy, France where he underwent surgery and spent three months recovering from the severe wounds and subsequent infection. One piece of shrapnel was left in his back due it's dangerously close location to his spine and will remain there the rest of his life.


After it was determined he was fit to return to his unit, he rejoined it near Munich, Germany and was reunited with his former squad who had all survived. Fortunately by the time he got back there in June the war was over as Germany had surrendered on May the 8th, 1945, VE Day. On September the 1st he departed from LeHarve, France on the USS Madagascar arriving back in Boston Harbor on September 11th. He arrived back home on September 15th and after 30 days furlough he was honorably discharged on November 15th, 1945 at Fort McPherson, Georgia.


Clyde Phillip Jones served as a Private for 4 months, a Private First Class 1 month and a Sergeant Light Mortar NCO for 9 ½ months. He spent 11 months and 26 days in the European Theater serving in a rifle company under constant danger and hostile fire. As an NCO he was responsible for control and coordination of a mortar crew of four, setting up, aiming, and firing a 60MM Mortar onto enemy positions. He was awarded 2 Purple Hearts, Bronze Star Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, World War II Victory Medal with 3 battle stars, Good Conduct Medal and the Combat Infantry Riflemans Badge.


On May the 29th, 2004, a special 60th Anniversary Memorial Day ceremony was held at Smithville, Tennessee to honor the World War II Veterans from Dekalb County. Clyde along with 42 other veterans, only seven still living at the time, was given well overdue recognition and were presented awards by Tennessee Congressman Bart Gordon and Brigadier General David Greer that they had earned during the war. Clyde was presented the Bronze Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantrymans Badge and the Honorable Discharge Lapel Button.

Sgt Clyde Jones Military Bio

PFC Birdwell
PFC Feldkamp
PFC Bochardt
PFC Walker

PFC Walker

PFC Bochardt

PFC Feldkamp

PFC Birdwell

Sgt Jones 60mm Mortar Team all survived WWII and pictured here in Brussels Belgium 1944

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Members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1089 Sings Happy Birthday to Sgt Jones and presented some presents

VVA Chapter 1089 Members surrounding Sgt Clyde Jones is front left of picture Director Lou Hamilton, center front Chapter Secretary Jerry Born, front right Bill Pruskowski, left center David Clatterbuck, right center Bill Fleming, top left is Roger Lanphere and top right is Vice President Charles Dobbs. Sgt Jones was very proud of the 45th Infantry Division ball cap he received as part of the presents the Chapter presented.