United States Navy
Service Dates: 30 Oct. 1942 - 05 May 1947
Recalled: 01 Dec. 1952 - 28 Jun. 1955
31 Mar. 1973
Robert (Bob) Leroy Jones was born in Waterloo, Iowa (home of John Deere tractors) on April 30, 1921, he was the older of two sons born to Bessie (Stealey) and Leroy Jones. When Bob was going into the military he was asked if he wanted to go in as an officer or a cadet. When he asked what the difference was he was told an officer’s pay was $275.00 a month and the cadet’s pay was $75 a month. Bob choose to be an officer. Bob was given this choice because he was a certified pilot.
Bob was on active duty for a span of 8 years before retiring as a Naval Captain on 31 Mar 1973.
When asked his serial number he immediately responds with ######. A number he will never forget.
As a Navy pilot, he never shot at the enemy nor was shot at by the enemy. He was never a POW, nor was he ever injured.
One of Bob’s duties was to Pilot Admiral Felix Budwell Stump who was the United States Pacific Fleet Commander, in charge of the entire Pacific (from July 10, 1953, until July 31, 1958). The admiral’s headquarters were in Hawaii; therefore Bob piloted him to places like Japan, Formosa, Philippines, and Hong Kong.
Bob was transferred to Standby Reserve-Inactive July 1, 1966.
He graduated from the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Naval reserve Feb. 26, 1970.
Vessels and station Bob served on:(Naval Aviation Station)
• NAS, Corpus Christi, TX
• NAS, Norman, OK
• NAS, Brooklyn, NY
• NAS, Banana River, Fl
• NAS, Seattle, WA
Medals Bob earned were the WWII Victory Medal and the Korean Victory Medal.
Bob was transferred to the Retired Reserve on April 1, 1973, at the rank of Captain.Bob was transferred to the Naval Reserve Retired List on April 30, 1981, (his birthday).
After retiring from the military Bob went to work for the F.A.A. (Federal Aviation Administration). While working for the F.A.A. Bob was Aviation Operations Inspector (Airman Certification) Boeing 707/720.
“This is a sensitive position” was typed on his Notification of Personnel Action Standard 50-5 Part Form. The effective date of action was 5-1-60.
The air carriers to which Bob was assigned as a principal operations inspector, responsible for the flight operations portion of their operation certificates are:
• Alaska Airlines – Mainline Certificate
• Alaska Airlines – Bush Certificate
Douglas DC3, DC4, DC-6, Super C-46, Cessna 180, Norseman, and the Twin Engine Piper were some of the makes and models. The 727 is another aircraft he was responsible to certify.
One of his most memorable duties was that he certified a 707 aircraft to be used as Air-Force One.
After retiring from the F.A.A. (Federal Aviation Administration) Bob did a little consulting work with Accident Investigations. He had to work with various attorneys both for the airlines and private citizens. However, he never really cared for this type of work so he retired for good. Also after retirement, Bob built a cabin on Henry Island to keep himself busy. He also had his private airplane to fly across the country in from time to time. He had a Cessna 22, which held five people before acquiring, with another man, a Cessna 210 that was a six passenger and had retractable landing gear. It was a complex airplane.
Bob has four sons: J. Steve, Terry, Richard, and Kevin. He was a member of the following organization:
• Quite Bird Men
• Military Order of World Wars
• American Legion
• Historical Society of the Blairsville Area
Until recently Bob and his wife had a dual residency. They resided part-time in Friday Harbor, one of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Seattle, Washington, and part-time in Blairsville, PA. Bob lived full-time in Blairsville with his wife Shirley (Gindlesberger) Jones until he passed away in 2016.