Jones, Claud Ashton, RADM

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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
000X-Unknown Navy Officer Classification/ Designator
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1944-1945, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC)
Service Years
1906 - 1946
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Ditch
Order of the Magellan
Order of the Square Rigger
Plank Owner
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

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Home State
West Virginia
West Virginia
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Michael D. Withers (Mike), OSCS to remember Jones, Claud Ashton (MOH), RADM USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Fire Creek
Last Address
Charleston, West Virginia

Date of Passing
Aug 08, 1948
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 11, lot 546-SS.

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Other Comments:

Medal of Honor citation of Commander Claud A.Jones(as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", pages 106 & 107):
"For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as a senior engineer officer on board the U.S.S. Memphis, at a time when the vessel was suffering total destruction from a hurricane {sic} while anchored off Santo Domingo City, 29 August 1916.
Lieutenant Jones did everything possible to get the engines and boilers ready, and if the elements that burst upon the vessel had delayed for a few minutes, the engines would have saved the vessel. With boilers and steam pipes bursting about him in clouds of scalding steam, with thousands of tons of water coming down upon him and in almost total darkness, Lieutenant Jones nobly remained at his post as long as the engines would turn over, exhibiting the most supreme unselfish heroism which inspired the officers and men who were with him. When the boilers exploded, Lieutenant Jones, accompanied by two of his shipmates, rushed into the firerooms and drove the men there out, dragging some, carrying others to the engineroom, where there was air to be breathed instead of steam. Lieutenant Jones
' action on this occasion was above and beyond the call of duty."

Rear Admiral Jones was the Bureau of Engineering's Assistant Chief, and for much of World War II, Assistant Chief of Procurement and Material. he became Director of the Naval Experiment Station at Annapolis, MD from September 1944 until nearly the end of 1945. Rear Admiral Jones retired in June 1946.
Rear Admiral Jones and his wife, Margaret Cox Jones are interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 11, marker 11-546.

Loss of the USS Memphis (CA-10) - formerly the USS Tennessee (ACR-10). US Navy Historical Center account of the loss.
At three in the afternoon of 29 August 1916, the 14,500-ton armored cruiser Memphis and the 1177-ton gunboat Castine were riding gently, anchored in the open roadstead off Santo Domingo, capital city of the Dominican Republic. Rear Admiral CharlesF.Pond, for whom Memphis was flagship, and a recreation party were ashore and the remainder of the ships' officers and crews were engaged in normal duties. Far away somewhere in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea, a seismic event had already generated a powerful tsunami, or tidal wave, as such things were then termed. One of the two ships would barely escape its effects, while the other would be driven ashore a complete wreck. More than forty men would lose their lives.
Perhaps twenty minutes later,
Memphis' Executive Officer was troubled by the "looks of the sea" and at about half past three Captain Edward L. Beach, the cruiser's Commanding Officer, ordered steam power increased enough to allow his ship to leave the anchorage. Previous experience had demonstrated that this could be done in about forty minutes. Waves began breaking ashore and, since Memphis was now rolling too much to recover boats in the water, two of hers were sent out to sea, soon to be followed by one of Castine's. Shortly afterwards, when a large wave was seen on the horizon, both ships began to prepare for heavy weather. This laborious work was greatly hindered by violent rolling and pitching as waves rapidly became larger and then immense. The effort to get steam up on Memphis suffered even more, with the problem becoming worse as water began to flow over her decks and enter through ventilators, incompletely closed gunports, and even her four tall smokestacks. As a result, when the main tsunami waves reached the anchorage about half-past four, Memphis did not have enough steam available to run her engines properly. She dragged her anchor, all the while battering her bottom against the bottom, normally some twenty-five feet below her keel. At about five PM she went hard aground near Santo Domingo's rocky coastal cliffs.

Castine, meanwhile, had gotten clear of the anchorage, following a heroic effort that left her badly battered and barely seaworthy. A motor launch, erroneously sent out of port with much of
Memphis' recreation party embarked, had foundered in the tremendous breakers, leaving twenty-five men dead. Another eight Sailors were lost when the three boats sent to sea sank or were wrecked attempting to reach shore after dark. Ten more were fatally injured on board Memphis, either by being washed overboard or from burns and steam inhalation as the ship's powerplant broke apart during her ordeal.
The big cruiser's remaining officers and men, many of them badly injured, were brought ashore by ship to shore lines, hastily rigged by U.S. Marines, Navy personnel and local residents. USS Memphis, so thoroughly damaged as to be not worth refloating, remained just off
Santo Domingo's shoreline for many years, a monument to a sudden tsunami, one of nature's most unforseeable and powerful forces.


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US NavyUS Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)Naval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)Naval Attache/Asst Naval Attache, CNO - OPNAV
Bureau of ShipsNaval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), NAVSEASYSCOM
  1906-1907, 000X, USS Indiana (BB-1)
  1907-1909, 000X, USS New Jersey (BB-16)
  1909-1910, USS Severn (1867) Sloop of War
  1910-1911, USS North Carolina (ACR-12)
  1911-1912, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1912-1913, Graduate School Engineering & Applied Sciences (Faculty Staff)
  1913-1913, USS Ohio (BB-12)
  1914-1914, USS New York (BB-34)
  1915-1915, USS North Dakota (BB-29)
  1915-1916, 000X, USS Tennessee (ACR-10)
  1916-1916, USS Memphis (CA-10)
  1916-1920, Brooklyn Navy Yard, NY
  1920-1921, 000X, USS Tennessee (BB-43)
  1921-1924, Bureau of Engineering
  1924-1925, Naval Attache Office (NAO) London, Naval Attache/Asst Naval Attache
  1925-1929, Bureau of Engineering
  1931-1936, Bureau of Engineering
  1942-1942, Bureau of Ships
  1944-1945, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyHarvard University
  1903-1906, United States Naval Academy1
  1911-1913, Harvard University
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