Elmer D. Jones, 94, a retired Air Force colonel who served as a ground-crew commander in the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black squadron in the segregated U.S. military of World War II, died Jan. 1 at his home in Arlington. He had complications from a fall.
A daughter, Danis Voogt, confirmed the death.
Col. Jones, who became a research and development specialist with the Air Force after the war, joined the new Tuskegee Airmen as an engineering officer in May 1941.
He later served as a commanding and engineering officer of a repair and supply detachment and, starting in 1943, was deployed to North Africa and Italy.
After his military retirement in 1970, he spent a decade as assistant commissioner for telecommunications in the General Services Administration.
Elmer Douglass Jones was a native Washingtonian and a graduate of Armstrong High School. He was a magna cum laude electrical engineering graduate of Howard University in 1941.
During his military career, he received a master’s degree in electronics and communications from the University of Illinois in 1949 and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago in 1956.
He was among the recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal at a 2007 ceremony honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.
Col. Jones was a lifetime ham radio operator.
His wife, Frankye Manly Jones, whom he married in 1941, died in 2003. Survivors include a daughter, Danis Voogt of Santa Barbara, Calif.
— Adam Bernstein