CLIFFORD JONES - SP4
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- October 24, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- January 30, 1968
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Clifford Michael Jones, Jr. was born October 24, 1947, in Hop Bottom, PA. His parents called him "Sonny". He lived with his family in Newark, NJ, for a short time before moving to Clifton, NJ. Sonny was an avid fisherman and loved all sports.
In the late 50s, the Jones family settled in Warren County. Enrolling at Hackettstown High School, Clifford played football and was a member of the 1964 undefeated State Championship team. He graduated from high school in June 1965.
Already planning to enlist in the US Army, he worked at the Hackettstown Coal and Supply yard through December. He reported for military service in January 1966, and trained at Forts Dix, Benning and Gordon before earning "Green Beret" in the fall and moving onto an assignment with the Special Forces.
In late 1966 and into 1967, he spent eight months in Okinawa undergoing advisory training and "Mike Force" tactics. He returned home in June for a forty-day leave. Cliff Gibbs, a Vietnam vet and now a fire inspector, talked to Jones on his leave and remembered how calm and collected he was, considering where he was headed. He was all of 19 years, 8 months.
Clifford Jones arrived for duty in August 1967. He served as radioman with Company B, 5th Special Forces Group, and Detachment A, 1st Special Forces. During the next five months he would earn a Bronze Star with a "V" and celebrate his 20th birthday. He attained the rank of Specialist 4 (SP4).
Jones was killed in action on January 30, 1968 while attempting to save the lives of fellow Green Berets. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously. His citation reads:
SPC. 4 Jones rallied his platoon for an assault to relieve his beleaguered comrades ...yelling words of encouragement, he charged forward in a courageous personal assault on the insurgents...this enabled the entrapped unit to reach safety.
A Marine Corporal, who had been a classmate of his, escorted his body home.
In 1989, through the efforts of VFW Post #7859, a 1.3 mile section of Route 46 running through Cliff's hometown of Independence Township was renamed SP4 CLIFFORD JONES, JR. HIGHWAY. A black granite memorial stands in his honor at the township's firehouse.
Sources: The Viet Nam Remembrance Committee & Clifton War Veterans Monument Committee and NJVVMF, Photo from VVMF.
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