Orville Kenneth Jones was born on September 1, 1929, in Williamsburg, Kentucky. He graduated from Williamsburg High School in 1947, and after graduation, he enlisted in the Navy. He recalls learning about Korea from older friends who had been stationed in Korea but does not recall ever being taught about Korea in school. He was first stationed at Jacksonville Naval Air Station and attended aviation fundamental school. After training, he was stationed at Fort Mugu Naval Base in California. He boarded the U.S.S. Toledo TA133 for a tour of the Far East. His ship returned to the U.S. before it was notified that the Korean War broke out. He then boarded the U.S.S. Manchester in Hawaii as part of Task Force 77 and, after some ship repairs, deployed to Korea. His ship aided the invasion of Wonsan, North Korea, a distraction invasion while the U.S. invaded Incheon (Operation Chromite). After Wonsan and the Chinese invasion in Korea, his ship docked in Taiwan.
Legacy of the Korean War
Orville Jones recalls his sadness when General Douglas MacArthur was fired. He shares how he felt as if the legacy of the war would be a lot different if he had been able to continue as the U.S. general in Korea. He speculates that maybe the Koreas would be unified but that nuclear weapons might have been used.
Orville Jones recalls having to find the water mines left by the North Koreans. He remembers heading to Japan for rest and relaxation when they almost hit a water mine. He recounts how the ship was traveling at a fast pace and how the captain was forced to make a creative maneuver to avoid being blown up by the mine.
Life Aboard the U.S.S. Manchester
Orville Jones recalls life on the U.S.S. Manchester. He recalls sleeping in a bunk, eating hot meals everyday, and having the ability to shower each day if he wanted. He talks about how much money he made and what he could spend it on. He recalls being able to save some money by sending some of it home. He could also spend some of his money in Japan or Taiwan when on Rest and Relaxation.
Orville Jones speaks about the possibility of visiting Korea today to see the amazing progress the country has made to lift itself out of the devastation of war. He recalls learning about a great deal of poverty and undeveloped land.