In memory of Gerald Cuthbert Benjamin Jones

Photo or Gerald Jones

In memory of Gerald Cuthbert Benjamin Jones

Gerald Jones, along with his brother Bryn, spent his formative years in Newport, writes Adrian Hughes. Gerald attended Crindau School and later Newport Secondary. On leaving school, Gerald was employed in the offices of Llanover Estates, a private estate in Monmouthshire owned by the the same family since the 18th century.

Gerald joined the RAF shortly before his 18th birthday and had aspirations to be a pilot. After many months of training, including a spell in America, he graduated as a Sergeant Pilot in 1943, when he was 19 years old.

In autumn 1944 Gerald and the RAF’s 257 Squadron relocated to Deurne Airport in newly-liberated Belgium. They were tasked with flying their Typhoon ground attack aircraft in direct support of the Allied troops advancing towards Germany. The colour photo shows Gerald (2nd from right) with fellow airmen.

group photo by plane including Gerald JonesOn 5 January 1945 the newly promoted Pilot Officer Jones was on an armed sortie to Veen in the Netherlands when one of his engines failed, north-east of Brecht. He was forced to make an emergency landing on agricultural land, a procedure he carried out successfully, but as the plane came to a halt in the field it’s believed that it hit a depression in the earth. The aircraft lunged forward and broke the pilot’s neck. He was 21 years old, and left his wife Jean and their young son Michael. He was laid to rest in Schoonselhof Cemetery near Antwerp, Belgium.

Growing up in Newport, Gerald Jones was a close contemporary and friend of Arthur Fitzgerald, who also became an RAF pilot and died in August 1943 during a mission to the German city of Nuremberg. Rather poignantly, each family put an obituary and memorial into the local newspaper for the other's son.

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Read about his friend, Arthur Fitzgerald

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