Alvin Harvy Jones, 91, of Forsyth, MO.
Alvin Harvy Jones was born June 25, 1927 in Roane County, Tennessee on a farm just outside the town of Kingston, that lay in the forks of the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers.
My father was Gainey Leondias Jones and my mother Mary Alice Jones. At my birth my father and mother were on a farm owned by Henry Biss and together they had started a canning plant for peaches and tomatoes. Their main contractor was Stokeleys and they were in excellent condition, then the depression hit and they lost everything.
I was the seventh child in my family of 4 girls and 4 boys. My sister was married the month after I was born and 11 months later had a girl and a year and a half later had another girl. Both born before my baby sister, Ada May. My second oldest sister was married and her first two were girls. So, when they wanted me to visit which was almost every Sunday, it was my job to watch them. Naturally they made mud pies and I had to pretend that I ate them and sometimes one would cry, and I was in trouble. We all grew up together and they seemed like sisters not nieces.
My father after losing everything rented a farm in north McMinn County, Tennessee, 5 miles from the town of Athens. The area was known as North Liberty and the 2 room grammar schools joined the farm.
Henry Biss who also lost everything including his wife was asked to come live with us. The little house was a tar paper shack with cracks in the walls. Till this day I don’t know how eight people fit into that small place.
Since I was a little over 4 years old it was my job to help Mr. Biss in the garden. All the rest were working on the farm tending crops and livestock. We always had lots of chickens. My spare time as I got older was spent playing in the creek very close to our house and another large one ran through the middle of the farm where my older brother taught me to swim at 4 years of age.
I went through grammar school at North Liberty. A 2-room schoolhouse with 2 teachers and then High School at McMinn High in Athens, which was during World War II. I graduated in 1945 about 17 years old the draft board gave me an automatic determint because I was working on the farm with my Dad. One year later I was drafted and passed the physical and would have been in the Army, but they cancelled the draft in 1948. They started the draft again and I was told immediately to be ready to report for active duty. I talked it over with my parents and joined the Air Force in October 14, 1948, basic training at Shepard Air Base in Texas. Afterward I was assigned to the extension course Institute which at that time was attached to the 10th Air Force. We were then sent to Gunter Field in Alabama which was part of the Air Force University.
When the Korean War hit my best friend and I already had to orders to go to Elmendorf, Alaska, just outside of Anchorage. We were both very fortunate as we were assigned to Joint CINCAL (Commander in Chief in Alaska), and Air Force, Army and Navy Command. I was further very fortunate to work for a Colonel who was directly under the commanding General by the name of Nathan Farragut Twining, so they got me cleared for top secret classified material. While in that assignment in early 1953, I turned down the opportunity to go to Officers’ Candidate School and become a pilot or navigator. In the meantime, I had been promoted up the ladder and was satisfied. That led to my next assignment to Wing Headquarters Sioux City National Air Base near Sergeant Bluffs, Iowa.
I was soon promoted to Tech Sergeant and with my classified clearance held some important positions.
The secretary I worked with directly under the base command decided I should be married and kept arranging dates for me. On January 1st, she and her husband went to a party and dance. Afterward, she told me that she had found a nice, smart woman I would like and that she had made a date for us that night. I told her I had been out the night before and no way possible could I show anyone a good time, but I would I go later. She called the woman back who happened to be Eunice Irene Koenig and told her. I have never figured out why, but she accepted a date on the 13th of January 1954 for a square dance. We seemed to like each other immediately, I thought she was in her early twenties as she was 5 foot and weighed 104 pounds. After the dance we started going to drinks and shows and found that we liked so many things the other one did. She finally told me that she was almost 10 years older than me and that she had been in the Coast Guard in World War II. I told her that didn’t make any difference to me and if she wished to marry and see the world in the Air Force, we should do it.
We were married at the base chapel on June 11, 1954. I had invited some of my buddies to the wedding and none of them showed up. They later told me that they thought I was a confirmed bachelor.
In the later months of 1954, I was notified I was being transferred to Grandview Air Force Base, which later became Richards Gebaur.
Eunice had to quit her excellent job and so we arrived in Grandview for my new position which turned out to be all the classified for Central Air Defense Command.
Eunice took a job in Kansas City and almost immediately discovered she was pregnant. We had to move to a large space and eventually ended up south of the town of Grandview, where we planted a garden.
Our daughter, Phyllis Eileen Jones, was born and we felt blessed to have such a beautiful child.
Working with the classified section one day I got a message which stated the desperately needed Senior NCO’s who were willing to train into computer and radar systems that all the new aircraft would have. So after discussing with Eunice, I went to the Personnel Office, saw my friend and volunteered. He also volunteered and another friend volunteered, we were all accounted and ended up in class at Lowry Air Base at Denver, Colorado. After the school in 58 week most of us ended up at Tyndall Air Base at Panama City, Florida.
Before that and while I was at school Eunice gave birth to our son Steven Michael Jones.
At Tyndall, I was soon put into a supervisory position and was promoted to Master Sergeant. Shortly thereafter I go orders to transfer to Soesterberg, Holland. This proved to be an excellent place for me, and we were training pilots who were not used to flying radar- controlled aircraft. My job at Tyndall was almost the same, I was soon promoted to E8.
Later we were transferred to George Air Base at Victorville, California. We thought we would be there for a while so in the fall of 1963 we bought a beautiful house. In 1964 the Secretary of Defense decided he wanted 2 F105 Wings at McConnell Air Force Base at Wichita, Kansas. We were the only wing of F105’s that was combat ready and Vietnam War hit. We immediately sent a squadron over. They stayed 4 months and in October 1964, the squadron I was with got orders to go. We did not get back until the last of May 1965.
I told Eunice and the kids to prepare themselves as they were going to send our whole wing to Southeast Asia. We bought a house they could live in just north of South High and Grammar School.
I left in September 1965 to Takali, Thailand. Our wind was responsible for most of the F105 missions to North Vietnam. I was put in charge of all the electronics flight line activity. Which meant a supervisory position to meet all aircraft coming back from a combat mission and determining if the aircraft could be re-primed in time for the next mission. I set up our work force on 2 shifts of 12 hours each and made sure that every man got at least one day off in seven. Our section did some outstanding maintenance work.
Than in late September 1966 I got orders for Bangor Air Force, Bangor, Maine. Eunice and I decided to keep our house and set up a rental company take care of it.
After my arrival at Bangor I was promoted to E9, Chief Master Sergeant, the highest rank for an enlisted man.
Stayed at Bangor for 4 and ½ years was then transferred back to Tyndall Air Base, was there for 11 months and was transferred to Bitburg Air Base, Bitburg, Germany. This turned out to be the most satisfying of my career. Although I had some interesting trips while in Holland, and spent time in Libya, North Africa on two occasions. At Bitburg, I was also had duty at Bodo, Norway, 65 miles, north of the Arctic Circle and in Spain near Barcelona.
While there from 1971 to 1976 the family go to see many beautiful and extraordinary places including the Black Forest, Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and Berchtesgaden; all the King Ludwig’s Castles and many of the cathedrals in England, Scotland and Wales.
I was then transferred to Myrtle Beach Air Base, South Carolina in 1976. Spent a little more than one year there and Eunice and I decided it was time to retire from the Air Force. We had been to Branson, Missouri when we were in Kansas and decided this was the place to retire. My retirement was August 1977.
We came here in 1977 and looked around; ending up buying a house off 65 north of Branson. We lived there until 1981 and then moved to Powersite, Missouri to a house we both dearly loved after we some fix up.
Eunice and I had 61 years of wonderful marriage. She passed away August 26, 2015. My memories have been wonderful during my 61 years of marriage. We had a daughter, Phyllis who had 2 wonderful sons, Aaron Scott Overton and Christopher Eugene Overton, with Amanda Jo Roberts, with daughters Annistyn Sue, and Maranda Grace and Olivia Rose. Our son Steven and his wife Virginia Gail Jones had a daughter Alizabeth Tia, married to Matt Itter, children Aiden, Dylan and Layla and 3 sons, Anthony Eric Jones, Patrick Ian Jones, married to
Tiffanie Marie, children Skylar, Maverick and Boston, and Terry Lynn Jones, and his son Parker.
From the time I retired I have enjoyed being a member of Branson United Methodist Church and an active member of the Branson Masonic Lodge 587.
My life has been blessed with pleasant memories…Off, High in the Blue!
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