MISSION – Lynn Frank Jones, 97, of Mission, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.
Mr. Jones was born on Aug. 16, 1920, to Robert Littleton Jones and Johanna Volz Jones in Mercedes. He graduated from Mercedes High School and attended the University of Texas at Austin. In 1941, he joined the Army Air Corps for pilot training and resigned his commission later that year to fly for Pan American Airways to ferry pilots, eventually ferrying P-39’s to the Panama Canal Zone. Assigned to the China-Burma-India Theater, he was assigned to the 74th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group flying P-40’s out of the base in Kunming. Promoted to captain, he sank the first Japanese freighter off the China Coast, at Hanoi, China. When returning to the U.S., he served as a P-47 instructor and director of flying training at the Abilene Army Air Base in Texas. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. He left the service in September of 1945.
In 1948, he began farming vegetables and citrus, eventually expanding his operations to Mexico. In 1997, he was inducted into the Texas Produce Association’s “Produce Hall of Fame.”
Survivors include his children, Gregory Jones of Canyon Lake, Whitney Jones of McAllen and Candice Jones of Canyon Lake; and nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Also, stepchildren, Tommy Helle of Tampico, Mex., Linda Lyles of Charlotte, N.C., Ann Dose of Dobbin, Mike Helle of Edinburg and Lorraine Burns of Raymondville, and their children and grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jerine D. H. Jones; first wife, Barbara Baldridge Miller; daughter, DeannaBox; parents, Robert and Jennie Jones; and siblings, Ralph Jones, Paul Jones, Kent Jones, Myrtle Heller and Jeannette Jones.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 10 a.m. at Ric Brown Funeral Home in Mission. Burial follows at Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission.