Medal of Honor

Claud Ashton Jones

Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy. Born: 7 October 1885, Fire Creek, W. Va. Accredited to: West Virginia. (1 August 1932.) Citation: For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as a senior engineer officer on board the U.S.S. Memphis, at a time when the vessel was suffering total destruction from a hurricane while anchored off Santo Domingo City, 29 August 1916. Lieutenant Jones did everything possible to get the engines and boilers ready and if the elements that burst upon the vessel had delayed for a few minutes, the engines would have saved the vessel. With boilers and steam pipes bursting about him in clouds of scalding steam, with thousands of tons of water coming down upon him and in almost complete darkness, Lieutenant Jones nobly remained at his post as long as the engines would turn over, exhibiting the most supreme unselfish heroism which inspired the officers and men who were with him. When the boilers exploded, Lieutenant Jones, accompanied by two of his shipmates, rushed into the firerooms and drove the men there out, dragging some, carrying others to the engineroom, where there was air to be breathed instead of steam. Lieutenant Jones' action on this occasion was above and beyond the call of duty.

Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863-1973. Washington: GPO, 1973.

Military and Wartime