- Robert L. Gale
Jones, James (06 November 1921–09 May 1977), author, was born James Ramon Jones in Robinson, Illinois, the son of Ramon Jones, a dentist, and Ada Blessing. The discovery of oil on his farm made Jones’s paternal grandfather wealthy, but the crash of 1929 wiped out the man’s investments. Jones’s father ruined his dental practice by excessive drinking. Jones’s mother suffered from diabetes and became obese. Growing up in a family of diminished finances and emotional violence, Jones graduated from high school in June 1939 and enlisted in the U.S. Army, at Chanute Field, Illinois, that November. He went to Fort Slocum, New York, then by troopship via Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal, and California to Hawaii. He was stationed in the army air corps there, at Hickham Field and then Wheeler Field. He became a welterweight boxer while at Pearl Harbor. In March 1941 his mother died. In September Jones transferred to the infantry and to Schofield Barracks, near Honolulu. He frequently visited the Hotel Street strip of that city and participated wholeheartedly in the drinking and whoring life of many enlisted men of that time....