Jonny Jones Sr., civil rights lawyer and World War II veteran, dies at 102 2022-04-26 11:55:39


“We are saddened by the news of the death,” Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) Posted on social media on Monday. “It is our great honor to look after Mr. Jones in our Louisiana home for veterans where he has been living since last December.”

“We will always be grateful that we played a part in giving him the Purple Heart he deserves for his combat injury,” LDVA said.

Last year, Jones was awarded the Purple Heart by state officials at the old Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, according to the Veterans Affairs blog in June 2021.

“I want to express our profound respect for your distinguished service, and the long-awaited acknowledgment of your wounds received during the invasion of Omaha Beach on D-Day,” Army Chief of Staff General James McConville wrote in a letter to Jones for the award. .

“We owe you a debt of gratitude, for your sacrifices during World War II and for being a role model for African Americans who look forward to serving,” McConville said.

Jones was also honored on March 9, 2020, “by the French government when they presented him with their country’s Legion of Honor for his service in World War II,” according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He graduated from Southern University and was drafted into the army in 1942. By 1943, he rose to the rank of junior non-commissioned officer.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said the ship Jones, on which he was traveling on D-Day, “hit a mine and was detonated from the second deck to the first.” Later, the explosion said Jones, “blew me sky high in the air.”

Later in the war, he was wounded by shrapnel during a bomb attack. He will face racism upon his return to the United States.

While he was driving in 1946 to New Orleans to remove the shrapnel from his neck, he was stopped by a white police officer,” according to the VA blog.

“He knocked me down and started kicking me,” Jones told the Veterans Affairs Station in an interview. “Things weren’t quite right,” he said. Separate but equal “It was unconstitutional and I wanted to fight it and make it better.”

Jones earned his law degree in 1953 and was soon recruited by Reverend T.J. Jameson “to help organize the eight-day United Defense League bus boycott in Baton Rouge and defend the protesters.

According to the Veterans Affairs Agency, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King used the event to plan for it throughout the year. Bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabamawhich started in 1955.

“Jones defended students at sit-ins at pharmacies and others as civil rights protests spread across the South. His car was blown up twice,” the VA website said. “I was in the car and got out when it exploded in the air,” he said of the attacks.

He said, “We had to take a firm stand. You only live once, but when you die, you die forever, so I won’t rest until we can fix things.”

Jones inspired his family to continue his work in law; Jones’ sons, his daughter and granddaughter have become attorneys, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” LDVA said.