Patrick Joseph “PJ” Jones, 82, of Pensacola, FL, passed away on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
Colonel Jones enlisted in the Marine Corps at Albany, New York, in August 1956. Upon completion of Boot Camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, and Infantry Training at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, he received orders to NAS Jacksonville, Florida where he attended the Naval Aviation fundamental School and Aviation Electrician "A" School. Upon completion of these schools he was transferred to Marine Corps Air Station, Opa Locka, Florida, and joined VMR - 353 for duty. While at MCAS Opa Locka, Private First-Class Jones received a Secretary of the Navy appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy and was transfer to the Naval Academy Preparatory School at Bainbridge, Maryland. Corporal Jones entered the U.S. Naval Academy as a Midshipman in June 1958, graduated in June 1962, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He completed the Basic School at Quantico, Virginia, in December 1962, and received orders to NAS Pensacola, Florida, as a Student Naval Aviator. First Lieutenant Jones received his aviator wings in June 1964. He proceeded to Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, and joined VMFA(AW)-235 flying the F-8E Crusader. In December 1965, he deployed with the squadron to MAG-11, Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam. During this tour Lieutenant Jones flew combat missions in the F-8 and O-1C "Birddog". Upon completion of this overseas tour Captain Jones received orders to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He completed this duty under instruction in June 1969, and was awarded a degree in Aerospace Engineering.
Upon completion of transition training in the F-4B "Phantom", Captain Jones was again order to MAG-11, Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam. During this tour he flew combat missions in the F-4, TA-4-F, and OV-10A aircraft. During December 1970, Captain Jones received orders to the U.S. Naval Academy where served as an instructor in the Engineering Department and as a Company Officer in the Executive Department. At the completion of this tour of duty in July 1974, Major Jones was transferred to the Marine Aviation Detachment, Point Mugu, California, where he served as Project Officer, Program Manager, and Executive Officer.
September 1976, saw Major Jones assigned overseas to MAG-15, MCAS, Iwakuni, Japan, serving as Executive officer of VMFA-115. In July 1977, as Commanding Officer, he brought the squadron to MAG-31, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. During this second tour at MCAS Beaufort, he served as Executive Officer of PROV MAG-40, Commanding Officer of Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron-31, and Commanding Officer of VMFA-251.
Colonel Jones served on the staff of DC/S for Aviation of HQMC from June 1980, to June 1982. During this time, he was selected for Top Level School and attended the Naval War College in 1983. upon graduation, Colonel Jones was assigned as the Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina. From June 1985 to July 1987, he commanded MAG-41 at NAS Dallas, Texas.
Colonel Jones served as III MEF Chief of Staff from August 1987 to July 1988 when he assumed command of MATSG Pensacola. His personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 51 Strike/Flight awards and two Navy Commendation Medals with “V” device.
After retirement in 1990, P.J taught 9 years at Pensacola Catholic High School. He played golf 3 days a week until his death.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Leonard Jones and Bridget Roland.
He is survived by his wife, Tanya Gunter Jones; his sons Kevin Jones, Brian Jones (Lisa), Daniel Hynes (Michele), Tim Hynes (Elizabeth), daughters, Nora Emling (Justin), Kelly West (Glen); his sister, Kathleen Martino of Albany, NY; as well as nine grandchildren and his two cats, Boo & Peanut.
The family will receive friends Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 10:30 am, followed by a memorial service at 11:00 am at Harper-Morris Memorial.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Autism Pensacola, 10001 North Davis Highway, Building 1, Pensacola, FL 32514.Read More