David Jones was born on December 18, 1913, in Marshfield, Oregon. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve, serving from June to August 1930, and then enlisted in the Arizona Army National Guard on May 12, 1931. Jones was commissioned a 2LT Cavalry on July 5, 1936, and entered the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Corps on June 27, 1937. He was awarded his pilot wings at Kelly Field, Texas, on June 17, 1938, and then served with the 17th Attack Group and the 95th Bomb Squadron before being selected for the Doolittle Mission in February 1942. Capt Jones was the Pilot on the 5th B-25 to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) on April 18, 1942, and after bombing Tokyo the crew bailed out over China when their aircraft ran out of fuel. He was assigned as Commander of the 319th Bomb Group in North Africa in September 1942 and was shot down and taken as a Prisoner of War of Germany on December 4, 1942. Jones was released in April 1945 and served as an air inspector at Headquarters Air Training Command before attending the Armed Forces Staff College in 1946. He then served as Director of War Plans at Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Director of Combat Operations at 9th Air Force, and Commander of the 47th Bomb Group. Jones was Commander of the 47th Bomb Wing at Langley AFB, Virginia, from February to June 1952, and then at RAF Sculthorpe, England, from June 1952 to June 1955. He then served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the Air Proving Ground Command at Eglin AFB, Florida, until April 1958, when he became Commander of the 6592nd Test Squadron, where he was director of the B-58 Hustler Test Force, at Carswell AFB, Texas. Jones served in this position until August 1960, when he became Vice Commander of the Wright Air Development Division at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. In August 1964 he was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Systems with Headquarters Air Force Systems Command at Andrew AFB, Maryland, where he served until December 1964. Gen Jones then served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight with NASA from December 1964 to May 1967, and as Commander of the Air Force Eastern Test Range at Cape Kennedy, Florida, from May 1967 until his retirement from the Air Force on June 1, 1973. David Jones died on November 25, 2008.
His 1st (of 2) Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary achievement while participating in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland on April 18, 1942. Captain Jones volunteered for this mission knowing full well that the chances of survival were extremely remote, and executed his part in it with great skill and daring. This achievement reflects high credit on Captain Jones and the military service.