BATON ROUGE, La. — Johnnie A. Jones Sr., a Louisiana civil legal rights legal professional and Earth War II veteran who was wounded for the duration of the D-Working day invasion of Normandy, has died. Jones was 102 decades outdated.
Jones’ goddaughter, Mada McDonald, instructed WAFB-Tv that Jones died Saturday at the Louisiana War Veterans’ Residence in Jackson, Louisiana.
Jones was born Nov. 30, 1919 in Laurel Hill, Louisiana and raised on Rosemound Plantation by his mom and dad, who farmed 73 acres of land but insisted that their son get an instruction. He graduated from Southern College and then was drafted in 1942. He grew to become the Army’s very first African American warrant officer. He was assigned to a device dependable for unloading equipment and materials onto Normandy.
Throughout the June 6, 1944 invasion — as Jones came ashore on Omaha Beach — he arrived underneath fire from a German sniper. Jones grabbed his weapon and returned fireplace, a memory that haunted him all his life.
“I continue to see him, I see him each individual night,” Jones told The Linked Press in a 2019 interview.
Jones just about never designed it to the beachhead that working day. His ship strike a mine, and he was blown from the second deck to the initially. The explosion, “blew me sky large into the air,” Jones was quoted as indicating in an Division of Veterans Affairs job interview. Later, Jones got hit with shrapnel when he did not strike the ground quickly ample all through a bomb attack.
By the conclude of World War II, much more than a million African Us residents were in uniform like the famed Tuskegee Airmen and the 761st Tank Battalion. But they returned from the war only to experience discrimination again home.
Jones explained to the AP in 2019 that soon after returning from Europe, he experienced to shift to the again of a bus crammed with fellow soldiers as it crossed the Mason-Dixon line separating North from South.
“I could not sit with the soldiers I experienced been on the battlefield with. I had to go to the back of the bus,” stated Jones. In addition, although touring to New Orleans to get shrapnel removed from his neck, Jones was pulled over by a white police officer and roughed up.
These types of occasions served as a simply call to action, to struggle racism. He obtained a law diploma and was recruited in 1953 to support manage a bus boycott in Baton Rouge and protect the individuals. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King used that occasion to approach his bigger bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, various several years later.
Jones also defended college students arrested for the duration of sit-ins as civil legal rights protests obtained momentum in the South. His automobile was bombed 2 times.
The French governing administration in 2020 offered Jones with the Legion of Honor award for his Earth War II assistance.
It took decades for Jones’ sacrifice and bravery through Environment War II to be acknowledged. In 2021 — at age 101 — he ultimately been given a Purple Coronary heart, which is awarded to U.S. assistance users killed or wounded in action.
The Louisiana Electronic Library has an interview with Jones on its web site.
Funeral arrangements are pending, McDonald told the Tv set station.