Died March 28,2006
Maj. Gen. Jones E. Bolt is inspector general, Headquarters Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
General Bolt was born at Ware Shoals, S.C., in 1921. He graduated from high school at Williamston, S.C., and entered Clemson University in 1938 from which he graduated in 1942 with a degree in engineering and, through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, a reserve commission as second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
He entered active military duty in August 1942 and received flying training at Orangeburg, S.C., and Macon and Moultrie, Ga. He completed advanced flying training in March 1943, and was assigned as a T-6 and P-40 aircraft pilot instructor in advanced flying school at Spence Field, Ga. In March 1944 he was transferred to Florida for P-47 combat training.
In April 1944 he was assigned to the 362d Fighter Bomber Group in England. He flew 15 combat missions in the European Theater of Operations before he was forced to bail out of his airplane because of engine failure. He landed in a German Command Post just outside of Paris, France, and was taken prisoner. General Bolt was sent to Stalagluft 3, a prisoner of war camp near Sagan, Germany, and was one of the prisoners of war on the infamous march from Stalagluft 3 to Stalag 7A at Mooseburg during January and February 1945. He was liberated from the prisoner of war camp in April 1945.
Upon return to the United States in 1945 he attended Aircraft Engineering School at Chanute Field, Ill. In June 1946 he was assigned as flight test maintenance officer for F-80 aircraft at Williams Field, Ariz., and later was assigned as Deputy Commander for Maintenance, Maintenance and Supply Group.
In 1948 he assisted in the formation of and flew right wing on the first Air Force jet acrobatic team, "The Acrojets." The team remained intact until August 1950 at which time it was inactivated because of the Korean War. After reactivation in 1952 the team was renamed the Thunderbirds.
In August 1950 he was transferred to the 86th Fighter Wing in Munich, Germany, and served as commander of the 526th Fighter Bomber Squadron. In November 1953 he returned to the United States and attended the January-June class of the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala, After graduation he was transferred to the War Plans Division, Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., where for the first three years he was involved in U.S. Air Force commitments and deployments to NATO and correlating war plans associated with these forces. The last year he was a member of the Force Structure Committee which involved future structure plans for the U.S. Air Force.
In July 1958 General Bolt was assigned as commander of the 53d Fighter Interceptor Group, Sioux City, Iowa, and in October 1959 he became commander of the 328th Fighter Wing, Aerospace Defense Command, at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Mo. He was assigned to the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing on Okinawa as deputy commander in July 1961. In February 1963 after completing F-105 aircraft operational training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., General Bolt planned and led the first nonstop flight of "Thunderchiefs" from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, via Wake and Guam This marked the first time a single engine fighter had flown such long distances over water. In May 1964 he became commander of the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing.
He was assigned to Headquarters Twelfth Air Force in Waco, Texas, as director of safety in August 1964. He assumed command of the 4453d Combat Crew Training Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., in July 1965. The wing trained F-4C pilots for combat duty in Southeast Asia and transition pilots of the fighter wings converting to the F-4 aircraft.
In October 1966 General Bolt was transferred to Southeast Asia as commander of the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, equipped with F-4s at Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of Vietnam. In March 1967 he was sent to Da Nang Air Base to command the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing. During that assignment he regularly flew missions into the Hanoi area and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster in addition to the Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters. He joined Headquarters Seventh Air Force as director of the Tactical Air Control Center in June 1967 with responsibilities for planning and execution of air operations in the southern part of North Vietnam and throughout South Vietnam. Following this assignment he was awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the third Distinguished Flying Cross and the tenth Air Medal.
He returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in May 1968 as deputy director for strike forces in the Directorate of Operations, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations. In March 1970 General Bolt became deputy chief of staff for operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, with headquarters at Lindsey Air Station, Wiesbaden, Germany.
General Bolt became Air Training Command inspector general in August 1971.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart, Republic of Vietnam Air Force Distinguished Service Order First Class and the Air Gallantry Cross. A command pilot, General Bolt has more than 7,000 hours of flying time and 160 combat missions in Southeast Asia.
General Bolt was promoted to the temporary grade of major general effective Feb. 24, 1970, with date of rank Aug. 10, 1965.
(Current as of Sept. 15, 1971)