John Jones was born August 25th 1841.
Jones served on the USS Rhode Island as a Landsman, which was the rank afforded to men who had been recruited and had served for less than a year. The USS Rhode Island was side-wheel steamer and in late December 1862 she had been assigned the job of towing the USS Monitor to the waters off South Carolina. On December 30th 1862 in heavy seas off Cape Hatteras, the Monitor was swamped and sank. Jones at a risk to his own life rescued many of the men from the Monitor in a small boat. His Medal of Honor citation says that while he was engaged “in the hazardous rescue of the officers and crew of the sinking Monitor, Jones, after rescuing several of the men, became separated in a heavy gale with other members of the cutter that had set out from the Rhode Island, and spent many hours in the small boat at the mercy of the weather and high seas until finally picked up by a schooner 50 miles east of Cape Hatteras.”
Jones would go on to reach the rank of Ordinary Seaman. He died August 15th 1907, and is buried in the St Mary’s Cemetery, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.