Army Memorabilia

Jones Jr., Russell F

Rank: Private
Serial Number: 32757528
Military Branch: 30th Infantry Reg., 3rd Division
Origin: New Jersey
Date of Death: 1943-11-10
Baptist Cemetery, Salem. NJ
Featured: No

Russell F. Jones was born August 24, 1924 and enlisted in the army in New Jersey on April 21, 1943. He went to schools in Salem, New Jersey. A newspaper article in the December 8, 1943 (accompanying the group) states that Jones' parents were residents on Harding Avenue, Pennsville, NJ. He was sent overseas in October, 1942 after being trained in cooking school. The article states that he was killed in Italy on November 10. Private Jones had three sisters and eight brothers.

Private Jones' group includes his officially engraved posthumous slot brooch Purple Heart with its presentation box. Also included is a copy of page 307 of "Our Final Salute" which lists Jones as a casualty in Salem County in New Jersey, plus some internet research.

The following is from the history of the 30th regiment at the time of Jones' death: 

On November 1st, a patrol was sent out to the town of Presenzano, Once in position, they radioed back troop positions and movements to the leading elements of the 30th Infantry heading toward Presenzano. On November 3rd with the Germans quickly pulling back, the lead elements set up a base of operations within the town of Presenzano. The town had fallen largely due to the bravery of those in the patrol.

The next objective was to be Mignano, a key city guarding the road to Cassino and eventually Rome. However, a couple of obstacles had to be neutralized before any attempt on Mignano could be made. The first objective would be on a small mountain top village called Cannavinelle and Mt. Rotundo which was heavily fortified. Visualizing a frontal attack failure, Col. Bernard of the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry suggested an attack from the rear. All of the ground to the south and east of Mt. Rotundo was coverd by mines, barb wire, and machine-gun fire. On the evening of November 6th, the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry moved out moving around and behind Mt. Cesima which was quickly secured by the 15th Infantry in the early stages of the attack. The 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry encountered some small skirmishes but, they moved forward toward Cannavinelle the small number of German troops in Cannavinelle were quickly overrun. Once at the top the 1st Battalion secured their position and held their ground. Now the 2nd Battalion with support on their right from the 3rd Battalion would sweep down the hill and take Mt. Rotundo. Sweeping down the hill the 2nd Battalion made progress but, with mounting casualties due to all of the obstacles the 2nd Battalion pulled back. The next day the 2nd Battalion would try again. The 2nd Battalion tried again in the early moring hours but, was repulsed due to decreased man power. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions tried the attack together in a coordinated attack later that day and succeeded. However, shortly after reaching the top they come under heavy German counter-attacks of 20 and 30 man rushes and, they held. During the actions of November 8th the 1st Battalion was counter-attacked three times that day in their positions. For the next three days elements of the 30th Infantry fought off continued German counter-attacks until the Germans pulled back and gave up the town of Mignano for good. From November 14th-17th the US 30th Infantry continued patrolling the area around Mignano until they were relieved by elements US 143rd Infantry of the US 36th Infantry Division.

The casualties sustained by the U.S. 30th Infantry Regiment during Operation Avalanche: The Invasion of Southern Italy are as follows:

Casualties: 975
Killed: 256 (including 13 Officers)
Wounded: 644 Enlisted, 31 Officers
Missing In Action: 44 Enlisted

SOLD to a collector 04-2021 

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