Remembering Lt Henry S. "Hank" Jones on the anniversary of his passing in 1947.
Hank had wanted to follow his father into a military career since he was young. He entered West Point Military Academy in 1941, earning the rank of 1st Sergeant during his 1st year. After graduating on June 6, 1944, he went on to Infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and soon transferred to the paratrooper school. He earned his jump wings and was sent to the 13th Airborne Division at Camp Mackall, NC. He was assigned to a glider unit and also earned his glider wings.
In Dec, 44, Hank and 15 other officers were sent overseas to Europe. Hank was assigned to the 506th PIR as a 2nd Lt in Feb, 45, as the unit was deployed to Haguenau. He was placed in Easy Company's 2nd platoon and took part in the patrol across the river Moder on the night of 13-14 Feb. By all accounts he performed well on the patrol, leading one of the squads.
Within a week he was promoted to 1st Lt and transferred to regimental staff. He remained with the unit for several months, reaching Berchtesgaden with them. In Sep, 45, he requested a transfer to the 508th PIR. He remained with that unit for a year as the Assistant Regimental S-3. He then moved to the 907th CIC Detachment in Aug, 1946, and was assigned to the Berlin region where he was appointed as a field office commander.
Hank was involved in a car accident in 1947. He recovered well except for a minor difficulty. He underwent surgery at the 279th General Hosp in Berlin with the view to returning home to the U.S once recovered. But the surgery was not successful and Hank died in the hospital on the evening of July 21st, 1947, aged just 23 years.
He was remembered by the men he served with as a friendly, kind, witty, and intelligent personality.
Hank was portrayed by Colin Hanks in the episode The Last Patrol
Currahee and rest easy, Lt
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