Discussion in 'Vietnam Stories: By John H. Wilborn' started by Guest, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    *Senior Chief Of Staff*
    Posts: 748
    (3/6/02 6:26:24 am)
    Reply MR. JONES WAR.
    I first met Mr. Jones in 1962. I think it was because of his age, and
    because that is what we insisted on our children calling older people,
    so it was always Mr. Jones for me too. Mrs. Jones, who was as
    equally old and frail as her husband, called him Hank or Henry when
    she addressed him, however if she directed the kids to him for
    whatever reason, it was “you go see Mr. Jones.” The fall of 1962, the
    world was seething during the stare-down between the United States
    and the Soviet Union over Cuba---the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis. I
    was transferred suddenly from my duty station in Rhode Island to the
    Seabee base in California, eventually winding up on the island of
    Okinawa. Getting my family settled prior to deployment, we chose a
    home on Cedar Street in Oxnard, California--the street where the old
    Jones couple had lived for many years. It was only two houses up the
    street from us, and one of the first familes we met on Cedar Street.
    The old couple loved our three small children, but really took a liking
    to son Johnny who was then only five. Mr. and Mrs. Jones had moved
    to California from Kalispell, Montana because of the old man’s
    health--he had been wounded in France during World War I and the
    cold of Montana winters aggravated his burned lungs caused by
    poison gas from the war. Mr. Jones had an unusual history from the
    war---he had gone over to France, prior to our own country entering
    the war, and had fought with France against the Germans. He was a
    young pilot who had flown the old bi-winged planes against the Huns
    (that’s what Mr. Jones called the German aviators). It was a French
    Air Unit named the LAFAYETTE ESCRADILLE (sp). From what I recall
    that when the United States did enter a declared war against
    Germany, then Mr. Jones joined up with the Americans against the
    Germans. Mr. Jones used to cough a lot because of his injured
    lungs---I think it was chlorine that he was gassed with---and Mr.
    Jone’s eyes always looked as if he were crying---always carried a
    handkerchief to wipe his tearing eyes or to cough into. The Jone’s
    had lived on Cedar Street long enough that they had fruit trees
    growing in their back yard---one tree especially was a peach tree and
    when those were in season, Johnny used to bring big paper bags full
    of peaches home with him. Mrs. Jones baked a peach cobbler that
    you could just die for---they were sure good people and had such a
    good effect on our children. Mr. Jones gave Johnny a letter opener
    that I described just a few days ago---made from wartime
    ammunition with VERDUN 1917 engraved on the scimitar shaped
    blade. Verdun is described as a battle that was fought where there
    were more casualties than any battle in recorded history. If I knew
    how, I would place a picture of the old letter opener on here for you
    all to see. If you wish to look at it, let me know and I’ll send it as an
    attachment on e-mail. Perhaps you had a relative from the first world
    war. My kids used to call it Mr. Jones War. wilborn