WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — On Saturday, Wesley “Bub” Leon Jones, a World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient, was laid to rest in Wichita after 80 years of uncertainty.
Six months ago, his remains were identified among previously unknown soldiers in an American cemetery in Belgium.
The B-24 he served on crashed on August 1, 1943, after undergoing enemy fire.
Mary Bridges and Georgia Carnett, Jones’ nieces, were able to bury him next to his mom and dad Saturday at the Wichita Park Cemetery, something they thought would never be possible.
His nieces said they are overcome with joy after decades of uncertainty.
“Thankful, astonished, didn’t think it would ever happen, I’m extremely thankful he’s home,” said Carnett.
“Bub,” as they called their uncle, had the ability to hold machine gun fire until the last moment to suck the enemies into perfect position.
This earned him the nickname “Suck’Em in Jonesy,” given to him by his fellow tail gunners.
“All the other tail gunners respected him for that. They called him a hero, so if they called him a hero, we should call him a hero also,” said Jerry Allen with Mulvane Legion Post 136.
Allen, a veteran himself, is hopeful that more families might be afforded the same opportunity for closure.
“I’m glad that they’re finally doing research and locating these guys and giving a name to them and giving them an honorable burial,” said Allen.
Bridges said that her uncle knew the risks and believed serving his country was the right thing to do.
“He had written a letter and said if he had to give up his life, he knew what he was doing,” said Bridges.
His two nieces encourage others to always have faith and hold onto the hope that they, too, will be reunited with their loved one.
“He was gone for 80 years, nobody thought he would come home, and now he’s home, and to be able to be buried next to his mom and dad, and I am so thankful,” said Bridges.