Cover photo for Jack Jenkins's Obituary
1922 Jack 2017

Jack Jenkins

June 17, 1922 — May 8, 2017

Jack Warren Jenkins 1922-2017

Jack Warren Jenkins, age 94, passed away on May 8, 2017 in St. George, Utah. He was born on June 17, 1922 in Pittsburg, Kansas to Walter and Nell Weeks Jenkins.

On Dec. 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor, Jack enlisted in the Army at the the age of 19. On October 30, 1942 at the age of 20, he was promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant/pilot.

Just as he was about to go on a second date with the lovely Eleanor Goodson, he received those orders that he was being transferred and the date with Eleanor was cancelled.

September 1, 1943, Jack was promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant/Pilot/Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron at the age of 21.  On September 15, 1943 Jack arrived in Bishnupur, India and was assigned to the 21st Photo Squadron, 14th Air Force, China.

As a pilot, he flew P-38, F 5, P-51, C-47, B-25 single and twin engine aircrafts.  He received the Air Medal for flying 25 missions between September 1943 and February 1944.  On June 6, 1944 he received the Distinguished-Flying Cross for two missions.

One flight he flew an exceptionally long and hazardous mission for over enemy territory in an unarmed photographic reconnaissance plane. He obtained photographs of vital enemy supply and transportation center, that revealed important information to our forces.  His second flight he flew to the same area and obtained weather data necessary for important information and operational planning.  These missions were flown to the extreme range of his aircraft, with a great probability that enemy fire would be encountered.  On September 1, 1944 at the age of 22 he was agin promoted to rank of Captain/Pilot/Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron.  That same month he was awarded the Soldier’s Medal.  On December 4, 1944 he received the Oak-Leaf Cluster, and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight.  Flying from bases in China, he distinguished himself in more that fifty combat missions.  He penetrated deep into enemy territory, although his aircraft was unarmed and he had to depend upon superior flying to evade fire from hostile aircraft and enemy ground guns. Valuable information on enemy installations and movements were obtained from his photographs and translated into increased combat efficiency of both ground and air forces in China.  In addition to piloting his aircraft, he acted as his own navigator, photographer, displaying exceptional skill in the performance of all of his duties.

Jack and Eleanor wrote often over a two year period of time while Jack was overseas. Then on leave, Captain Jack W. Jenkins and Eleanor Goodson were married on December 21, 1944 in Denver, Colorado. He was 22 and she was 23. When Jack returned from war, Eleanor joined him in California. Then the family, with the addition of two boys and one girl, moved to Detroit, Michigan where Jack was an Industrial Engineer at General Motors.  Another move to Aspen, Colorado where he and Eleanor taught skiing for 20 years, ran the Copper Horse Ski Hostel, and raised their three children. Life brought Eleanor and Jack to St. George, Utah in 1991. In 2010, he was sealed to Eleanor in the St. George LDS Temple.

Jack had a passion for racing corvettes and sports cars. His good buddies were his dogs Barney and Mac.

He is preceded in death by his wife Eleanor, his son Stephen Jenkins and daughter Tracy Ross Ph.D. He is survived by his son David of St. George, Utah. His five grandchildren Cory Jenkins (St. George, Utah), Cassidy Jenkins (Las Vegas, NV), Asia Jenkins (Colorado), Dayle Diamond and Matthew Diamond (California).

A Memorial Service will be held Friday, May 12, 2017 at 12:00 noon at the Flood Street LDS Chapel located at 85 S. 400 E., St. George, Utah 84770.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jack Jenkins, please visit our flower store.


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