Reginald Victor Jones

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Usually called R.V. Jones, Reginald Victor Jones was the first Scientific Intelligence officer in the U.K. Secret Intelligence Service, with responsibilities for what, today, would include technical intelligence, scientific and technical intelligence, electronic intelligence, and electronic warfare. He pioneered the roles both of science in intelligence and intelligence about science.

Jones had a critical role in the Battle of the Beams, involved in countering the radio-based navigational aids the Germans were using for night bombing of Britain, as well as participating in a wide range of intelligence activities.[1]

U.S. recognition

Since 1993, the Central Intelligence Agency has presented the R.V. Jones Intelligence Award for

"Scientific Acumen, Applied with Art, in the Cause of Freedom."[2]

Jones himself was the first recipient. In presenting it, Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey said,

But unlike our other awards in intelligence, the R. V. Jones Award, engraved with Reg's likeness, will not be reserved for Americans, although Americans are eligible. It will be given in the future to intelligence officers or organizations in the United States or other countries who demonstrate "Scientific Acumen Applied With Art in the Cause of Freedom. "Scientific acumen applied with art" is the best way we could think of, in a few words appropriate to a medal, to sum up "behaving as R. V. Jones would have." What do we mean by this and how is it relevant to the intelligence world of the future? As the head of scientific intelligence for both the Air Staff and later the British Intelligence Service, Reg Jones during World War II masterminded a combined effort. He was a sort of one-man, all-source intelligence collection, evaluation, and analysis system, who, in his spare time, designed countermeasures, implemented covert action, and targeted military forces. Reg would dispute the one-man characterization. He has always been generous to his colleagues even while insisting, sometimes quite stubbornly, on his own views.

References

  1. Jones, R. V. (1978), The Wizard War: British Scientific Intelligence 1939-1945, Coward, McCann & Geohegan
  2. "Honoring Two World War II Heroes", Studies in Intelligence, 27 October 1993