Charles Albert Jones

Charles Albert Jones


By Christine Baldwin

Charles Jones graduated from Armstrong High School in Washington, DC in June 1944. He was tested and accepted in the ASTRP and sent to Howard University to study Engineering. After 3 trimesters, Jones turned 18 and was sent to Ft. McClellan AL for basic training. From there he was sent to Pennsylvania State College to continue in ASTP schooling. The end of WWII brought closure to the ASTP and Jones went to Ft. Belvoir, VA, where he was promoted to Corporal. By October, he had graduated from the Engineer OCS as a brand new 2d Lt at the ripe age of 19. He was sent to Korea, where the Corps of Engineers was building asphalt highways and runways from Seoul to Inchon, and other strategic locations. When the mission was completed, it was off to Yokohama, Japan as Platoon Leader in a fire fighting unit. In 1949, a reduction-in-force caught Jones. It was a $10,000.00severance pay or reenlist the next day as a master sergeant. Jones sewed the 6 stripes on and never regretted it. Jones spent a total of nine years overseas. Six were in Verdun, France (1952-55) and Darmstadt, Germany (1963-66). In between, he taught Engineer Reconnaissance at the Engineer School, Ft. Belvoir. To complete his college education, he went to Central State University as a ROTC instructor. Next Jones went to Korea for 13 months. Returning to the states in 1961, he finally got the opportunity to be promoted to E8. He went to Germany in 1963 and was promoted to command Sergeant Major of the 547th Engineer Combat Battalion. His final assignment was in Fargo, ND as a National Guard Advisor.

Upon gaining his Masters Degree in Economics, Jones went on to teach for 20 years at Seattle Central Community College. During this period, he served on the Mayor’s Task Force for Redlining; The Seattle Planning Commission and was Co-Chairman of the Model Cities Employment and Economic Development Committee. Sports was also a major part of his life. Jones umpired baseball, softball, basketball and football while in the service. Highlights included umpiring the 1967 Woman’s World Softball Tournament and being the Varsity Basketball Coach at Seattle Community College. He was also a hard working union member of the American Federation of Teachers and served as Campus Vice President and later District Union President.

At 62, Jones retired and moved to Sequim, WA. There his leisure time was spent becoming a Master Gardener, which allowed him to visit all of the 2nd grade classes in the county, teaching the youngsters how plants grow. Duplicate bridge has been his real big hobby. He is beyond the life master level in both the ABA and the ACBL and has achieved teaching certificates for teaching and directing bridge. Jones has attended nearly all the annual reunions of the 547th since 1988 and is a member of DAV, NAUS, American Legion and the Paralyzed Veterans. He arrived at the AFRH-W in August 2011 and was very pleased with his choice to come back home and enjoy life.