|Pilot Tribune 20 Nov 1952|
Jones Killed in Plane Crash
Body Here For Burial
Gerald Jones, 20, Son of the Ingvert Joneses, in Among the 11 Fatalities
Catholic Funeral Services Planned
A Blair serviceman, 20-year-old Gerald (Jerry) Jones, was among 11 Navy men killed last Wednesday night when their four-motored Navy patrol plane crashed near Shelton, Wash.
The PBY-4 Privateer plane from Sandpoint Naval Air Station at Seattle was flying low in ugly weather when it crashed, then exploded and burned on the rugged, heavily-timbered Olympic Peninsula.
The parents of young Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Ingvert Jones, who reside at the southwest edge of Blair, just west of the swimming pool park, were notified almost at once of the tragedy – but anxious days and nights followed until the final sad confirmation of what had occurred.
Snow, Rain Interfere
Families of the crashed fliers maintained sagging hopes for 30 hours, despite discouraging reports from the Navy, that there might have been a few survivors.
But their hopes were in vain. Rescue crews, struggling up mountainsides amid snow and rain, finally, reached the scene of the crash and found all 11 men dead – apparently killed immediately.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones, only a short time before learning of the air tragedy, had received a letter from Gerald in which he said he was soon to make a flight to Alaska, and added that he expected to leave for Korea soon.
Young Jones was a gunner aboard the Navy plane.
Funeral to be Here
All bodies were removed from the crash scene over the weekend and taken to the Bremerton (Wash) Naval Hospital for positive identification. The body of young Jones is now enroute to Blair by rail, accompanied by a Navy escort.
The body will be taken to the Campbell Mortuary here. The funeral will be held at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church in Blair at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, with the Rev. Edward C. O’Donnell, pastor, also chaplain of the local American Legion, officiating. There will be military rites, with both the VFW firing squad and the American Legion firing squad officiating. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery here. The rosary will be recited Friday evening at 9:30 at the mortuary.
Serving as pallbearers will be Bill and Jack Bennett, Jim Sorensen, Jim Hansen, Bill Rasmussen and Clyde Larson, Jr.
Native of Logan
Gerald Jones was born at Logan, Ia., Aug. 29, 1932, and came to Blair with his parents when only 20 months old. He attended the Blair schools, and in high school participated in football, basketball and track. He was graduated from high school here in 1951 – and on the next day reported for Navy duty.
Surviving young Jones are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ingvert Jones; five brothers, Bill of Nebraska City, until recently a meat cutter at the Blair Safeway Store, James, who is with the U. S. Army in Germany, also Ronnie, Leo and Gene, all at home; and four sisters, Mrs. Robert Chaney (Margaret) of Hastings, Mrs. A. E. Careh (Kathryn) of Chicago, Mrs. W. H. Williams (Phyllis) of Cleveland, O., and Miss Betty Jones, at home.
Enterprise 20 Nov 1952
Blair Man Dies In Plane Crash
Gerald Jones, 20, Member Of Crew Of Navy Patrol Plane
11 Died In West Coast Crash
Gerald Jones, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ingvert Jones, of Blair, was one of eleven men who died in the mountain-top crash of a naval patrol bomber last Wednesday night. The tragedy happened in rugged terrain near Shelton, Washington on the Olympic peninsula.
News of the crash was broadcast early Thursday after the plane had been sighted and word was received by Mr. ad Mrs. Jones on that day. However, ground rescue units had not reached the wreckage and the fate of the crew members was not definitely known when the telegram was sent.
Early dispatches by the United Press stated that a farm family in the area reported seeing flares about three hours after the crash and there was some hope that there might be survivors to the crash. Ground units, upon reaching the wreckage, however, found that all aboard had been killed.
The Blair youth was born August 29, 1932 and was slightly more than twenty years of age. He had moved with his family to Blair when he was but a small child and the family has resided here since.
Upon graduation from Blair High School in May, 1951, he immediately joined the Naval Air Corps and was in training as a tail gunner. He had also had some experience as a turret gunner.
He is survived by his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Ingvert Jones and by four sisters and five brothers.
The brothers and sisters are: Mrs. Robert Chancy, Hastings, Nebraska; Mrs. A. E. Caron Chicago; Mrs. W. H. Williams, Cleveland, Ohio; William Jones, Nebraska City, Nebraska; James Jones who is with the United States Army Engineers in Germany; Ronny, Leo, Betty and Eugene, all at home in Blair.
The body is expected to arrive in Omaha Friday evening and Rosary will be recited at the Campbell Mortuary at 9:30 Friday night. Funeral services will be held the following morning at 9:30 from St. Francis Borgia Catholic church with burial in the Catholic cemetery at Blair.
Note: Burial in Holy Cross, Blk 16 Lot 2 Sp 6. Find a Grave # 131083176.
~~~ Obituary courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.~~~