Russell E. Jones
CHICOPEE- Army Air Corp Veteran, Russell “Buzz” Jones, left this world on June 23, 2019.
He was born August 11, 1923 in Athol to William and Martha Whitney Jones and graduated from Orange High School in 1941.
He enlisted in October, 1942 and took his basic training in Atlantic City, New Jersey. At Goldsboro, NC, he graduated top of his class in Aircraft Mechanics and was made an instructor. Buzz then volunteered for gunnery and was sent to Buckingham Air Base in Florida, graduating 4th in his class. During gunnery competition held at Tyndall Field he ranked first in the competition. After being assigned to the 454th Bomb Group in August of 1943, he went overseas in December, flying the southern route to Africa and then on to Cerignola, Italy. During his 50 missions the unit under pilot, William Sherman, received the Presidential Unit Citation for a bombing mission over Pielesti. He was awarded the Air Medal with 7 clusters. He is credited with taking down 2 German aircraft. In 1945 at the end of the war, he was honorably discharged as Staff Sergeant. He later joined the Air Force Reserves and served out of Westover Air Base.
In 1951, Buzz married Arlene Buskey of Athol and they enjoyed 68 years of life together, residing in Orange for 23years before moving to New Salem. They lived there 21 years before moving to Deming, New Mexico. In 2012 they returned to Massachusetts.
As an apprentice at Adell’s in Orange, he learned tool and die making and worked for the L. S. Starrett Company for 29 years, retiring in 1985.
He leaves his wife, Arlene Jones; sons Corey and his wife, Heidi, of Vermont, and Steven and his wife, Alison, of Colorado; a daughter, Sally, in Chicopee; a granddaughter, Seija and her husband, Robert Neumeyer, of Massachusetts; a grandson, Edward and his wife, Krystal, in Hawaii; 3 great grandsons, Aiden, Kael, and Kellan; and a brother, Richard and his wife, Fran, of Ohio.
Buzz was predeceased by his sisters, June Hawkes and Barbara Rock.
He was a member of the Central Congregational Church of New Salem and a life member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. He was a member of the 25 year club of Starrett’s, the Last Man’s Club of WWII and a member of the Edelweiss Ski Club of Greenfield.
He was a participant in many sports like baseball, football, hockey, ski jumping, downhill ski racing, as well as cross country ski racing.
His hobbies included hunting, fishing, boating, camping, wood carving, lapidary, jewelry, knife making and woodworking.
As cruising enthusiasts, they enjoyed boating all over New England and the Canadian Canals. They spent time cruising with friends on the Langollen Canal in England and on Lake Powell.
There are no calling hours.
Following cremation, there will be a private military service at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon.
Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is directing the arrangements.
You may offer your sympathy online at www.wittyfuneralhome.com