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Mr. Conway B. Jones
Branch of Service:
Air Force
City: Oakland
State: California
County: Cambria
Honored By:
Wife Leslie and Son Eric Jones
Military Service:

Colonel Conway B. Jones, Jr., retired from the U.S. Air Force after 30 years of service, including 22 years as an Air Force Reservist. He epitomized the citizen-soldier. He completed 6,800 flying hours, including 87 airlift missions in Vietnam. His early years helped shape his interest in the military. His father, Lt. Colonel Conway B. Jones, Sr., USA (retired), also served with distinction as a military officer in World War II and the Korean War. Conway Jr. lived with his father while he was stationed in Tuskegee, Alabama, Governor’s Island, New York, and Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, giving Conway, Jr. a different glimpse of the military.

Conway spent his military career flying with the Military Air Transport Service–renamed Military Airlift Command and then Air Mobility Command. His transport supply missions involved several trips per month to Vietnam and Southeast Asia. His return trips included bringing back the wounded and the dead from the combat zone. He also crewed the around-the-world “Embassy Missions”.

His unit also supported “Operation Deepfreeze,” the resupply mission to McMurdo Sound. It was the main U.S. station in Antarctica, flown out of Christchurch, New Zealand. His Pentagon assignment was in the office of the Chief Air Force Reserve. His most notable comment during his tour was “you cannot build a 3,000-mile-per-hour airplane with two thousand mile-per-hour screws.”

His many awards and decorations serve as a testament to his commitment, contributions, and sacrifice. He served on numerous boards of directors in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. He served as Founding Chairman of the Western Aerospace Museum, Oakland, CA from 1983-1989. Under his stewardship as chairman of the Alameda County Veterans Affairs Commission, he assisted in the transfer of the title of 624 acres of land owned by the U.S. Navy at the former Naval Air Station, Alameda, California to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The plan is to construct a $242 million VA Clinic and Columbarium on this site.

He served on the board of directors of Concurrent Technologies Corporation, headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, for over two decades. He chaired the Operations Committee on the CTC board. His leadership in strategic planning helped CTC survive during some challenging times. He was also chairman of the board of the CTC Foundation. He created the concept of a National Strategic Water Reserve, a mirror of the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Colonel Jones also maintained a strong “across-the-aisle relationship” with Congressman John Murtha. There was a positive synergy on defense-related issues.

Art was his passion. He served as chairman of the Oakland Arts Council. He was one of the founders of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and president of the Oakland Youth Orchestra. He has served on numerous Music Panels for over two decades convened by the National Endowment for the Arts, in Washington, DC. As an art patron, he has donated art locally, nationally, and internationally.

His son, Eric, is a Medal of Valor recipient. He was recognized for his heroic actions at the Pentagon following the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Leslie is his wife of over four decades. Colonel Jones’s mantra is “the purpose of life is to matter – to count, to stand for something, to have it make some difference that we ever lived at all.”

Colonel Conway B. Jones, Jr.’s many contributions have positively impacted countless lives. He is truly an unsung hero.

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