Ed Jones was born on April 15, 1935, in Richmond, Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on April 16, 1952, and completed basic training in June 1952. Petty Officer Jones next completed Boatswain's Mate A School, followed by service aboard the heavy cruiser USS Columbus (CA-74) from August 1952 to June 1956. He served at Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, from July 1956 to December 1958, and then duty at Naval Station Treasure Island, California, from December 1958 to May 1959. Petty Officer Jones' next assignment was aboard the minesweeper USS Illusive (MSO-448) from May 1959 to November 1962, and then at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, from November 1962 to January 1964. Petty Officer Jones attended Basic Underwater Demolition Team Replacement training with Class 030 (East Coast) at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia, from January to May 1964, followed by service with Underwater Demolition Team TWENTY-ONE (UDT-21) at NAB Little Creek from May 1964 to May 1965. He was assigned to Naval Surface Forces Atlantic at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, from May 1965 to November 1967, and then with SEAL Team TWO at NAB Little Creek from November 1967 until he was appointed a Warrant Officer in the U.S. Navy in September 1968. CWO Jones then served with SEAL Team ONE at NAB Coronado, California, from September 1968 to September 1972, and during this time he completed four tours of duty in Southeast Asia. His next assignment was as an Instructor at Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at NAB Coronado from September 1972 to April 1976, followed by service with UDT-12 at NAB Coronado from April 1976 until he was commissioned an Ensign as a Limited Duty Officer (LDO) in May 1978. He then left the Naval Special Warfare Community to continue his career as a Surface Warfare Officer. After completing Surface Warfare Officer training, LT Jones served as First Lieutenant aboard the ammunition ship USS Butte (AE-27) from June 1979 to April 1981, and as Weapons Officer aboard the frigate USS Bradley (FF-1041) from April 1981 to October 1983. He then served as First Lieutenant aboard the combat stores ship USS San Jose (AFS-7) from October 1983 to June 1985. CDR Jones served as Readiness and Training Officer on the Staff of the Commander, Surface Squadron ONE at Naval Base San Diego, California, from July 1985 to August 1986, and he served as Commanding Officer of the rescue and salvage ship USS Opportune (ARS-41) from April 1989 to December 1990, when he was medically evacuated back to the United States due to health problems. Ed Jones died on active duty on April 13, 1991, and was buried at Richmond National Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. CDR Jones is the only former enlisted SEAL who subsequently took command of a commissioned Navy ship.
His 2nd Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For heroic achievement while serving with United States Navy SEAL Team ONE, Detachment Golf, Xray Platoon engaged in armed conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam. One 28 February 1971, Chief Warrant Officer JONES was serving as the Assistant Officer in Charge of a seven man SEAL squad. The squad, having successfully captured a Viet Cong munitions cache, was transiting the Thu Cu canal when their light SEAL support craft came under an intense enemy rocket attack, wounding all crewmembers. Reacting immediately, Chief Warrant Officer JONES directed a heavy volume of return fire and ordered the boat underway toward a safe area. Having expended his ammunition, he swiftly manned a machine gun and continued to lay down a heavy base of fire. He then directed an air strike on the enemy position and administered first aid. Chief Warrant Officer JONES' exemplary professionalism, devotion to duty and courage under fire reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.