Edwin E. Jones
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 04/18/1944 - 06/03/1946
Infantryman, 1262d Engineer Combat Battalion

He was still a growing boy when he entered the service at age 18. Born at home in Dallas, Texas, he grew up in small East Texas towns when "there were more horse-drawn wagons at that time than there were automobiles." When his father died in a hotel fire, his mother remarried, and the family moved to Shreveport. Edwin attended Louisiana State University, and then went into the service on April 18, 1944. He took basic training at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where thirteen weeks toughened up his five-foot-seven inch, 124-pound frame. He shipped out to the European theater, crossing the English Channel on the HMS Cheshire and entered France on January 10, 1945. He served in the 1262nd Combat Engineer Battalion, a unit assigned to build bridges and clear mine fields. Edwin recalls his total exhaustion in combat. "I don't ever remember them saying, `You can go to sleep.' You just went to sleep," he says. When hostilities in Europe ended he helped build a prisoner of war camp at Nuremberg. His unit was slated for the Pacific but Japan surrendered before they sailed. Edwin grew an inch in Europe, and after the end of the war weighed 140 pounds. He was discharged at Camp Shelby on June 3, 1946 as a corporal. Edwin re-entered Louisiana State University, living on $1500 he had saved from his pay during the war, along with his GI Bill. He later set up a mortgage business, which he operated for twenty-nine years.