LANDON L. JONES, LCDR, USN
Landon Jones '01
Date of birth: April 27, 1978
Date of death: September 22, 2013
From the 2001 Lucky Bag:
Lieutenant Commander Landon L. Jones was killed when his MH-60s Nighthawk Helicopter, working in conjunction with the destroyer William P. Lawrence, crashed into the Red Sea. Lieutenant Commander Jones was a member of the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 based out of Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California.
A graduate of Cabrillo High School in 1997, Lieutenant Commander Jones enrolled at the Naval Academy and was commissioned in 2001. He also attended flight training school in Pensacola, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas. Prior to his assignment to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6, Lieutenant Commander Jones served on assignments in Japan and San Diego. He returned briefly to Florida to serve in a helicopter training unit, and then was moved to serve in a Helicopter Marine Strike Squad in San Diego and Jacksonville. In 2012, Lieutenant Commander Jones moved to Naval Air Station North Island.
During his service, Lieutenant Commander Jones won many awards. He was awarded with the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Navy “E” Ribbon, and the National Defense Medal.
Lieutenant Commander Jones is survived by his wife Theresa, sons Anthony and Hunter, mom Debbi, father Larry and brother Nolan.
Landon 'LBJ' Jones was a wonderful husband, great father and an excellent pilot. The world was a better place with Landon in it and he will be missed by all of his friends. Bradford Wallace '01
From The Lompoc Record on October 13, 2013:
Vincent Culliver, a friend of Jones’ since first grade, recalled when Jones resolved to play hockey and made his own ice rink. “I told my kid the other day, ‘Never say you can’t do anything; Landon made an ice rink in his backyard with wood,’” Culliver said during his eulogy. “He just set some wood up, put the water out there – he knew it was going to freeze the next day – and the next thing you know he was ice skating in a circle.”
Jones was also a thrill-seeker who loved fast-moving vehicles from a young age, his friends and family remembered at the service. As a child he built model airplanes and drew cockpit controls onto cardboard boxes so he could pretend he was flying. As he grew older, he eventually owned a Chevrolet Camaro and a Dodge Viper.
Ned Shores, Jones’ biology teacher at Cabrillo High School, said that affinity for excitement was one reason he decided to pursue the career path he did in the Navy. “Landon told me that if he didn’t get the F-18, then his second choice was not going to be flying other planes because they’re boring,” Shores said. “But he was going to fly helicopters because flying helicopters demanded (that) you gave all your attention.”
From the March 2020 issue of Shipmate:
The Army-Navy football game is so much more than a game. This year, took my sons for the first time.
I wanted them to experience the pageantry, the camaraderie and hard-nosed football of two teams comprised of athletes who will not play together in the NFL but rather serve together on the battlefield. But for us, the biggest takeaway hoped my sons would have was to experience a piece of their father, who was killed in action while serving in the Navy on deployed operation in 2013.
On a girls’ night out in Annapolis during my senior year of college, I met a cute midshipman who was unlike any other. It wasn’t long until Midshipman Landon Jones and I became inseparable. We married in 2003.
In 2013, Landon’s helicopter crashed in the Red Sea just a few months after our second son, Hunter, was born, and a few weeks before he was supposed to come home from deployment. Landon will never have the chance to meet Hunter, and he won't see the remarkable young man that our oldest son, Anthony, who was only 6-years-old at the time, has become.
Recently, Hunter was curled up in my lap and he told me, "I don’t even know what it's like to have a dad." Sure, he knows the face in the pictures is "dad," but I'm not sure he truly understands the meaning of the word. Anthony remembers many things about his dad, but he wants to know more. He absorbs any story he hears. They want to know more. They need to know more.
For Hunter and Anthony, being part of the Army-Navy game day was one small piece could return to them of their dad. It’s one step in replacing that beautiful picture that was shattered the day their dad was taken from them in service to our country.
The game was my chance to show them a sliver of insight into who their dad was. The Landon I knew was strong and courageous. He was mission-driven and he put everything he had into whatever he was doing. He was a loyal friend and a great teammate. He loved his country and he loved his family. He was my best friend and a wonderful father, despite his limited time, and he will continue to guide our boys through the incredible legacy that he left to our family.
Hunter, Anthony and I had such a memorable day. We experienced that camaraderie and excitement unique to the Army-Navy game with our Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) family. Through TMF, my boys and I have the opportunity to serve with other veterans and military families to honor the legacy of Landon and all of the fallen heroes who dedicated themselves to a higher cause and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
But on 14 December 2019, the mood was a little lighter. At the TMF pre-game tailgate party, Anthony and Hunter laughed and experienced true joy, surrounded by men and women just like their dad. And through the laughs, I believe they saw his proud smile as he joined us to cheer on the Navy Blue and Gold, who, in fitting fashion, took home the victory.
I, for one, am grateful for the opportunity to give this gift to my boys, and to know that Landon was smiling down on us that day, just as Anthony, Hunter and I had huge smiles on our faces and pride in our hearts. Theresa Jones