Award: Veterans' Hall of Fame
Inductee was nominated by Former Senator Joseph L. Bruno
Ellsworth Jones was among the first Americans to land in Normandy, France, during the D-Day invasion. A member of the 101st Airborne Division — the famed “Screaming Eagles” — 1LT Jones was a Platoon Commander in Company G of the 502nd Parachute Infantry that landed behind enemy lines to gain a foothold in the Allied drive to liberate Europe. Over five days of fierce fighting, his unit destroyed an enemy artillery position and captured a key crossroads. He continued to lead his men until he was wounded by shrapnel that lodged next to his heart, where it remains to this day.
Though he played a major role in the Allied spearhead, earning a Bronze Star in addition to his Purple Heart, Mr. Jones still insists that the real heroes of D-Day are the thousands of young men who paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. He served a second tour of duty during the Korea conflict, and returned in 1952 to civilian life and to the business he had started years earlier, the Hayes Tobacco Company. In 1979, Mr. Jones was elected to his first of five terms as Mayor of Saratoga Springs. Though the job was considered part-time, Mr. Jones was a fixture at City Hall, working tenaciously to strengthen and improve his community. His focus on economic development and holding the line on property taxes helped draw major new employers to the city.
Now retired from business and his public duties, Mr. Jones continues to serve his Saratoga Springs community as an active volunteer for veterans causes.