REAR ADMIRAL CLAUD A. JONES
Claud Ashton Jones was born October 7, 1885, in Fire Creek, West Virginia he was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the class of 1907. After completing the required two years sea duty, he was commissioned Ensign In 1908 he was advancedto the rank of Rear Admiral to date from October 9, 1941.
After his commissioning, he served on the USS INDIANA, USS NEW JERSEY, USS SEVERN and USS NORTH CAROLINA.
While aboard the NEW JERSEY, he made a cruise around the world with the Battle fleet, and, while he was assigned to the NORTH CAROLINA, transported Special Ambassador Dawson to the Centenary of Independence at Caracas, Venezuela, and later returned to the Caribbean with Secretary of War Stimson for an inspection trip of the West India
In 1911 he returned to the Naval Academy for postgraduate Instruction In electrical engineering, which he completed at Harvard University in 1913 when he received the degree of Master of Science,
Following sea duty aboard the USS OHIO, he reported to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York, for fitting out the USS NEW YORK He served on the NEW YORK, following her commissioning, USS NORTH DAKOTA, and USS TENNESSEE (later renamed the MEMPHIS). In 1916 he was assigned additional duty as Squadron Engineer and Aide on Staff of Commander Cruiser Squadron, Atlantic Fleet
It was aboard MEMPHIS on August 29, 1916, when she was wrecked by a tidal wave In the open roadstead of Santo Domingo City, Santo Domingo, that he was awarded the Medal of Honor "for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Senior Engineer Officer at a time When (the ship) was suffering total destruction from a hurricane.
Lieutenant Jones did everything possible to get the engines and boilers ready and If the elements that burst upon the vessel had delayed for a few minutes, the engines would have saved the vessel. With boilers and steam pipes bursting about him In clouds of scalding steam, with thousands of tons of water coming down upon him and in almost complete darkness, Lieutenant Jones nobly remained at his post as long as the engines would turn over, exhibiting the most supreme unselfish heroism which inspired the officers and men who were with him. When the boilers exploded, Lieutenant Jones accompanied by two of his shipmates, rushed into the fire rooms and drove the men there out, dragging some, carrying others, to the engine room where there was air to be breathed instead of steam.
For the next five years he served with Westinghouse Machine Co., In the Industrial Department of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, fitting out and serving as Engineering Officer on the USS TENNESSEE.
From 1921-29, he was assigned to the Bureau of Engineering In Washington, DC, for three years, followed by a tour as Assistant Naval Attaché to the American Embassy in London, then returning to the Bureau of Engineering in August 1925 for four years. From September 1931 until June 1936, he was again attached to the Bureau of Engineering. From that date until detached in December 1945, Admiral Jones successively served as Naval Inspector of Machinery, head of the Shipbuilding Division, Bureau of Ships; Assistant Chief of the Bureau; Assistant Chief of Procurement and Material; and Director, Naval Experiment Station at Annapolis.