Freedom Fighters: B.C. Jones - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: B.C. Jones

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) -

B.C. Jones joined the Navy in January of 1944 at the age of 19. Nine months later he was on this way to the Pacific, where American forces were driving the Japanese back, island by island.

Jones says that the Island of Pelilu was one of the hottest battles of the Pacific Theater of War.

"We arrived there and they put us out where we were supposed to be and they put all the little landing craft behind us, and we took our boat, went in about, I would say about 150 yards. We fired rockets, about 200 of them. All the ships fired," remembers Jones. 

It was during the invasion of Pelilu, that Jones had the closest call of his life.

"I was firing at some Japanese and they were firing back at us and I don't know why, I have no idea, I moved a step over and a mortar exploded.  A piece of shrapnel the size of my hand, I could feel my head.  If I hadn't moved, it would have took the top of my head off, recalls Jones. "I always in my heart believe the Lord made me move over because of my mother's prayers. He moved me over, I think he had something he wanted me to do."

Jones says it was a sobering experience, one that made him step back and evaluate his life.

"Except for that step, I would have been dead," says Jones. "Too close, too close it really scared me."

B.C. Jones remained in the Pelilu area for the next couple of weeks, before being transferred to a mine sweeper.

In 1946, after the explosions of the atomic bombs ended the war, Jones returned to East Texas, thankful to have his life spared in battle.

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