By Ted Shockley


A 100-year-old Army and Air Force veteran who performed in military entertainment shows around the world was fondly remembered at her funeral service on Sunday.

A memorial was held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Shorter’s Chapel A.M.E Church in Machipongo for Sgt. Verline L. Jones, died in a Jan. 20 house fire near Birdsnest.

Jones was a member of the Tuskegee Air Women, the female complement to the Tuskegee Airmen, the African-American pilots during World War II in the U.S. Army Air Force.

Her singing talent was recognized and she was assigned to the 766th Air Corps Band and its touring show, called Operation Happiness.

She was one of the lead singers and her work was chronicled in newspaper articles of the day and in the seminal book, “The Tuskegee Airmen,” by Charles E. Francis.

The fire destroyed the home, which family members said was built by Jones’ father.

Jones had been sleeping in an upstairs bedroom where the fire began.