From the Director
Susan Enowitz, Executive Director of the Coronado Historical Association and the Coronado Museum of History & Art
Traditionally this is the time of year where I look back on what the Coronado Historical Association has accomplished. Our part in the centennial celebration of the birth of naval aviation (CONA), with an exhibit that tells stories of the deep-rooted relationship between Coronado and naval aviation, certainly stands out in my mind. To flesh out a year of participation in CONA, we organized associated events such as the viewing of the 1941 film, Dive Bombers, on the Naval Air Station North Island, our display and participation in the February 12th
Mark Aldrich, and the very popular homefront signage program, with more than 700 signs designating homes of past and current naval aviators. The collaboration with so many community organizations and individuals during this past year was remarkable and very memorable.
However, when I started to think about what I wanted to write for this issue’s column, I kept looking forward in my thoughts, into the future. What’s up ahead for CHA this year? Two very different and very interesting exhibitions (which you can read about in this issue of History Matters), a lecture on the history of the trains through Coronado and another on an aspect of World War II in Coronado, an evening fundraiser celebrating Coronado’s history, expansion of the 11th grade history program with visits to our museum, and, during National Preservation Month in May, a community workshop on preservation of one’s home and community.
What’s up ahead for our community? We’re very excited about the new Coronado Commission for Arts and Culture, which recently was approved by our City Council. We plan to work very closely with this Commission and the arts community in Coronado. We will start this year with our first-ever juried art exhibit, Visions of Coronado. (See article on page 1.)
Meeting with a couple of our Honorary Board members recently, we discussed their big worry for our community’s future: Will we continue to preserve the feeling and culture of Coronado that makes this the place we love? We talked about the preservation of our history with items already in our collection. There were 243 new items added to our collection by 44 donors this year. I believe we are a community that truly appreciates, and strives to preserve, the beauty of our environment. Many talk about the sense of joy they feel each time they drive west across the Coronado –San Diego bridge on a clear day. The panoramic view is breathtaking. That nostalgic feeling about Coronado also has to do with it’s many historic properties. But, are we preserving the homes of historic significance? Will new home construction add to our architectural gems? There were 19 demolition permits granted this year, and four of those homes were over 75 years old. Those four did not meet at least two out of five criteria, which would have designated them as historic and saved them from demolition. Read the article “Keep it in Coronado” on page 5, to learn what CHA does to remember homes.
As members of CHA, you are supporters of an organization with a mission statement that promotes the appreciation and enjoyment of Coronado’s unique cultural heritage and public resources. Our Board and staff work towards the future, doing our best to fulfill this part of our mission. We are passionate about doing the best job possible in serving you, our members and our community.
Young Coronadan a Hero at Pearl Harbor
Herb Jones, 23, awarded a Medal of Honor (posthumously)
By Megan Warneke
The events of December 7, 1941, wounded the heart of every proud American. Captain and Mrs. Herbert A. Jones of Coronado felt a pain worse than most; their only son, Ensign Herbert Charpiot Jones, serving aboard the USS California, paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country that morning.
Parade of Flight Celebration, lectures by Guest Curator
Herb, as he was known by family and friends, was a fun-loving California native who spent summers with friends sunning by the pool at the Hotel Del, but he was the kind of man who was always prepared to fight for his country and, following in his father’s footsteps he joined the US Navy in 1935.
As a young officer, Ensign Jones understood the events unfolding around the world at the time, and, like so many others, proposed to his college sweetheart, Joanne, well aware of the possibility of the United States entering into World War II. They married shortly before
the USS California weighed anchor for Pearl Harbor.
Herb’s ship was one of the first to be hit by Japanese bombs and when her ammunition hoists were badly damaged he quickly organized an ammunition passing party. In the midst of the chaos, he was struck by a bomb but refused rescue, fearing for the safety of those coming to his aid.
Ensign Jones stayed true to the proud naval tradition of “Fight her till she sinks and don’t give up the ship!” He stayed aboard the California doing all he could to fight for the fleet even while mortally wounded.
Ensign Jones was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Two years later, the US Navy commissioned the USS Herbert Jones (DE-137), with his young widow as the sponsor.
Ensign Herbert Charpiot Jones’ actions and his sacrifice will echo for eternity for his family, and for the townsfolk who will always be proud to call him one of their own.
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