Justin T. Jones, a Hometown Hero

Published: Mar. 7, 2013 at 2:49 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2014 at 3:12 AM CST
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It was a quiet, Sunday morning, the day of that surprise attack on Pearl Harbor which drew the U.S. into World War II and left Justin T. Jones back in Lubbock, Texas horrified.

"I was mad as a devil about Pearl Harbor. I just wanted to join like everybody else, join and get it over with," said Jones, 91.   

Just a month after the attack, the determined young man enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. Within a year, Jones says he was deployed to Europe.

"The hardest part about the first year we were over there was not being able to let anybody know where we were or what we were doing," Jones said.

On top of having to keep his whereabouts hidden from his family, Jones's troop lost one of their men after an assault by the Germans in Holland.

"We said he was the best man in the whole group, only one who was really fit to die. His name was Corporal Woraik. He took a direct hit from a German," Jones said.  

Jones says that day opened his eyes and then he realized how life can be taken in a moment.

"I thought lots of times, 'Why him and not me?' and all the rest of the guys thought the same thing. We talked about it a lot and we'd say, 'You know, he was a damn good guy,'" said Jones.

Jones was also in Europe for D-Day and at the end of the war when Hitler died. Jones fought that battle for three years and says there was one piece of advice that kept him motivated.

"You've got to have faith. You've got to be objective that tomorrow is going to be better than today."

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