2nd Lt. Maynard L. Jones

Navigator, Hautman Crew


Maynard Leroy Jones, son of Kenneth and Zita Shutts Jones, graduated from East High School in January 1940.  Maynard and five other boys, who were in the top 3% of their high school class academically, formed the Dummie Club, a loose social gathering of classmates.  As a reflection of the time, all ended up serving during World War II, and all but one served overseas.

    Stanley Marvin Arnold (1921-2008),  Army, Field Artillery
    Robert Warren Barquist (1921-1967), Army, Anti-tank Company, Infantry
    Robert Blake Frisk (1922-1999), Army Air Force
    Arthur Donald Haas (1922-2008), Army Air Force, Fighter Pilot
    Everett Gustav Schultz (1921-1994), Army, Signal Company

Maynard L. Jones, high school graduation picture

Maynard L. Jones, high school graduation picture

For the next year and a half, he worked a night shift at Rollins Hosiery Mills in Des Moines where his mother worked. In September 1942, he began pre-med courses at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. With World War II ongoing, Maynard interrupted his studies to enter the Aviation Cadet Training Program in February 1943.  Several months were spent at Southern Illinois Normal University (now Southern Illinois University) in Carbondale, Illinois.

Maynard L. Jones as an aviation cadet

Maynard L. Jones as an aviation cadet

Because of his academic achievement, Jones was able to begin Basic Navigation School at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, followed by Advanced Navigation School in San Marcos, Texas. 

Maynard Jones, cadet, aviation sunglasses, jaunty angle of hat

He graduated from the program and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps in February, 1944. A few months later, Maynard was teamed up with his future crew in Tucson, Arizona.  

Toward the end of May that year, the crew began to prepare for the transfer to their future combat air base. They left for England around June 1, 1944 and were in Iceland for several weeks while in transit.  The crew was in England by June 17, 1944 but not at a combat air base. After a detour to Northern Ireland (for training) by June 25, 1944. At least part of the additional training, including various classes, ranging from English country life and weather, venereal disease prevention, to what an aviator could expect while flying a mission, including how to conduct oneself if shot down. They finally made it to their final destination--Tibenham Air Field--on July 9, 1944. 

In Maynard Jones’s letter to his parents on July 19, 1944, he mentioned that the crew had just completed its first combat mission.  He did not mention the name of the planes in any of his letters.

At some point in 1944 after arrival in England, Maynard traveled to London during which the following sketch of him was made: 


In the Kassel Mission battle of September 27, 1944, Maynard sustained a fracture of his right femur on landing in his parachute. He was immediately captured and taken to a German Luftwaffe Hospital in Andernach, Germany. Later, he was transferred to a POW hospital in Obermasfeld, Germany, and still later to another hospital a few miles away in Meiningen, Germany.  His prisoner of war number was 53634.

Maynard Jones last wrote his parents on September 25, 1944, two days before his plane, the Mairzy Doats, was downed and Maynard was taken prisoner.  On October 14, 1944 Kenneth and Zita Jones learned that Maynard was missing in action via a Western Union telegram, a common form of rapid communication at the time.  A letter from the War Department in November 1944 declined to provide names and addresses of those lost on September 27 or their kin in the United States. It was not until a letter was received from the War Department dated January 6, 1945 that Maynard’s parents knew he had survived as a prisoner of war. 

Maynard was released by advancing American troops several days before April 7, 1945, according to a letter from Maynard written on that date. He recalled that he was not particularly mistreated but food was scarce and he lost 50 lbs. down to 135 lbs. in that length of time.

His parents received a telegram on April 25, 1945 notifying them that Maynard had returned to the control of the United States.

The exact dates of Maynard’s movements from Germany to the United States are not known, but by April 18, 1945, he was in an American hospital in France. He traveled to Paris several times on sightseeing trips, including to the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sorbonne University, and the French Military Academy.  Maynard also wrote of meeting a French marquis and his family.  From at least May 6 through June 10 he was at an unknown location in England. (The censor blacked out the location in England.) The postmark on a letter dated July 12, 1945 has him located in Charleston, South Carolina. Later, he was hospitalized at Schick General Hospital in Clinton, Iowa, where surgery was performed on his leg.  

91st General Hospital

Partial view of one of the ward buildings of Schick General Hospital, Clinton, Iowa. The Hospital was named after 1st Lt. William Rineheart Schick, MC, (1940-1941) and operated from 12 Feb 43 until 25 Feb 46

Partial view of one of the ward buildings of Schick General Hospital, Clinton, Iowa. The Hospital was named after 1st Lt. William Rineheart Schick, MC, (1940-1941) and operated from 12 Feb 43 until 25 Feb 46

Then he was transferred to a recuperation center in San Antonio, Texas, from which he was medically retired from the service as a 1st Lieutenant in October, 1946.

Upon his return to the United States, Maynard called his mother and said, “Mom, I smoke.”  His daughter, Marna Jones Hopkins, explains that he wanted to let his mother know that he smoked before he arrived back home.  Marna reports that Maynard’s mother replied, “That’s okay.  You can quit!” Maynard smoked throughout his life, though not inside his mother’s house.

In August of 1945, he met his future wife B. Lou Barkus on a blind date. The couple became engaged in February, 1946 and were later married at the First Methodist Church in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday, November 24, 1946.

Maynard L. Jones with B. Lou Barkus

Maynard L. Jones with B. Lou Barkus

Maynard wrote to Mrs. Anna Hautman, mother of Edward Hautman, after the war. On their honeymoon, he and B. Lou visited his copilot, Carroll Snidow, in Roanoke, Virginia.  Snidow wrote that he regretted that he and Maynard had not remained in touch as, “He and I were good friends during tour flying days and our stay in England.”

While a POW, Maynard crafted a cribbage board that returned home with him and is now in the possession of his daughter Kendra.

Following the war, Maynard returned to Drake University to resume his pre-med studies. He achieved a BA in 1948 and was accepted in medical school at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.  He received his MD in 1952, completed a one-year internship at Broadlawns Polk County General Hospital, then moved to Colfax, Iowa where he established a solo medical practice.

Maynard and wife B. Lou had four children:  Kendra; Marna, Jeffrey, and Todd.

Maynard died on 18 January 1980 at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.  He was buried in Colfax Cemetery, Colfax, Iowa, with graveside military rites conducted by the Jones-Willis Post 175 of the American Legion. At the time of his death, he was a member of the American Legion, the Iowa Medical Society and the American Medical Association.