Dr. James Mckernon Jones ‘49

Because of poor eyesight in his left eye, Dr. Jones had difficulty enlisting in the US. Army during World War II and was repeatedly turned down for service. Because of his strong desire to serve, however, he persisted until finally a sympathetic doctor let him “pass” the vision test. Without ever being sent through basic training, Dr. Jones was eventually shipped to England to the 52 General Hospital. Thereafter, he was shipped to France where he became a combat MP with the 769 MP Battalion and then requested transfer to the 116 Infantry Regiment, 29 Infantry Division where he served as a rifleman and first scout. He served throughout France, Belgium and Germany and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

Near Monchengladbach, Germany, Dr. Jones, then 18, was seriously wounded by enemy machine gun fire. Thereafter, he spent many months recuperating. For his WWII service, Dr. Jones was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the European Theater of Operations Campaign Medal with three battle stars and an arrowhead device. Dr. Jones’ wartime experiences are related in a chapter of a book entitled The Courage of Common Men. Texans Remember World War II, authored by Stephen Neal Manning (2001). After the war, Dr. Jones entered Syracuse University under the GI Bill. He went directly into the ROTC advanced course where he was a member of the Scabbard and Blade Society and was the cadet commander and outstanding advanced student during his senior year. Unfortunately, and ironically in view of his wartime combat service, Dr. Jones could not receive his commission upon graduation because of poor eyesight in his left eye! After graduation with a B.S. degree in Marketing Management in 1949, Dr. Jones entered private business and then from 1951-1956 served with the American Red Cross, and for three years served as the Field Director serving major elements of the 43 Infantry division in Munich, Germany. Thereafter, Dr. Jones reentered private business where he held several important positions from 1961-1979. in 1978, he received his MBA from Texas A & M University. From 1976-1997 Dr. Jones was a professor of Management, Marketing and Small Business in the Department of Business Administration, Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, TX.

In 1990, Dr. Jones received his Ph.D. from the University of North Texas in his teaching field of Management and Marketing. Over the years, Dr. Jones received numerous honors, awards and recognitions and was involved in various professional and community service activities. He was also a licensed private pilot and real estate broker. Dr. Jones retired from teaching full time in 1997; however, he continued to teach as an adjunct professor at three universities in the Corpus Christi area. While this Hall of Fame plaque was being prepared, Dr. Jones, 81, died on February 11, 2006 in Corpus Christi. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.