** NEW ** Hallmarked silver (Birmingham 1929) cigarette box with inscription: 'Presented to Flight Lieutenant J.I.T. Jones, D.S.O., M.C., D.F.C., M.M., R.A.F. by The Cadet Wing Officers and Cadets of the Royal Air Force College as some small measure of appreciation for his efforts on their behalf.' Accompanied by Ira Jones' book 'Tiger Squadron' signed by the author and original photographs of Ira Jones' funeral.

James Ira Thomas "Taffy" Jones D.S.O., M.C., D.F.C. & Bar, M.M.  was the highest scoring Welsh flying ace during the First World War with 37 credited victories. From Woolstone Farm, near St. Clears, Carmarthenshire, in 1913, Jones enlisted in the Territorial Army, and soon transferred into the newly established Royal Flying Corps, serving as an air mechanic on ground duties (where he earned the Military Medal) before volunteering for flying duties as an Observer. Jones commenced pilot training in August 1917 after being commissioned. After completing his training he joined No. 74 Squadron. Throughout his service at No. 74 Squadron Jones won several awards and decorations; being awarded the Military Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar and the Distinguished Service Order. Although having a reputation for crashing his aircraft when attempting to land, Jones recorded 37 victories in just 3 months whilst flying the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 during the First World War. After retiring in 1936, Jones was recommissioned after the outbreak of the Second World War, and flew briefly during the Battle of Britain. He retired from the Royal Air Force in 1936 but was recalled to active duty in 1939. During the Battle of Britain, whilst flying an unarmed Hawker Henley, he attacked a Junkers Ju 88 bomber with a Verey pistol. After retiring again at the end of the Second World War, Jones lived in Wales where he wrote three books on the R.F.C. and R.A.F. He died in 1960 through complications after a fall at his home in Wales.

M.C. Gazetted 16 Apr 1918: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This officer, one of an offensive patrol, engaged and shot down in flames a two-seater, which fell to earth. Ten days later, on offensive patrol, he shot down a Hanover two-seater, which crashed. The next day, when patrolling, he pursued, overtook and shot down an Albatross two-seater. During the same flight he met a Halberstadt two-seater and killed the observer, who either jumped or fell overboard, but had to break off as his ammunition was finished. The next day he shot a balloon down in flames. Three days later he got a good burst with both guns on a Pfalz scout, both wings coming off. He has driven two others down out of control." D.F.C. Gazetted 3 aug 1918: " In eleven days this officer attacked and destroyed six enemy aeroplanes, displaying great courage, skill and initiative."

Bar to D.F.C. Gazetted 21 Sep 1918: "A gallant officer who in the last three months has destroyed twenty-one enemy aeroplanes. On one occasion he attacked a Halberstadt two-seater, which was escorted by two scouts. On his approach the scouts deserted the two-seater, which he shot down in flames. He then pursued the two scouts, one of which he destroyed." D.S.O. Gazetted 2 Nov 1918: "Since joining his present Brigade in May last this officer has destroyed twenty-eight enemy machines. He combines skilful tactics and marksmanship with high courage. While engaged on wireless interception duty he followed a patrol of nine Fokker biplanes, and succeeded in joining their formation unobserved. After a while two Fokkers left the formation to attack one of our artillery observation machines. Following them, Captain Jones engaged the higher of the two, which fell on its companion, and both machines fell interlocked in flames."


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