Born 3 January 1925 and raised on a farm in Sylvester, GA. Bill Jones was always interested in flying. The oldest of 11 children, his mother told him that naturally, he would be the one to care for her when she got older. Bill replied, "Mama, you will have to get my brother Ed to do that - "I'll be flying!" True to his word, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in Gulfport, MS in 1944, and began what would be a life long career in aviation. He soloed a Stearman after 7 hours, completed flight school and was assigned to fly B-24's in the Pacific. An airplane accident resulted in a broken neck and he was shipped back, via ship, to the States to a VA Hospital. After recovering fro a year in the hospital he returned to flying status. While in the Active Reserve, he received a Business Administration degree from GA State University. He then obtained his Law Degree from the University of GA, passing the bar exam after only his second year of law school. He was soon recalled to active duty. Returning to Atlanta in 1963, he took a test pilot position with Lockheed Georgia Company at Dobbins AFB, where he flew the B-47, C-130, C-140, C-141 and all C5A aircraft. He was commended for saving a C5A during a test flight. During this time, he joined the Georgia Air National Guard, which was flying the Douglas C-124 transport. He served in several positions becoming Wing Commander, and in 1972 he directed the conversion from the C-124 transports to the F-100D fighter. The 116th Tactical Fighter Wing was converted to full combat readiness a year ahead of schedule, for which it received the first of five consecutive Air Force Outstanding Unit awards. Col. Jones was promoted to Brigadier General in 1973 and Commander of the 116th Fighter Squadron. In 1975, Gov. George Busbee appointed Jones as his Adjutant General of Georgia and he was promoted to Major General. He was responsible for both Army and Air National Guard units, but also served as State Director of Selective Service and Director of Emergency Management. In this capacity, he had 14,000 part-time and 1,800 full time persons to command. During his nine years as Adjutant General, the GA National Guard was repeatedly recognized by both Army and USAF as the best in the nation for Combat Readiness and Modernization of equipment. Especially noted were the Army NG24th Infantry Division and the Air NG165th C-130H Unit in Savannah, GA. Nationally, while Adjutant General, he served on the Reserve Forces Policy Board for three years, Executive Council of the Adjutant General Association for six years and as Vice President of the Adjutant General Association for two years. He was well respected for his judgement, his dedication and his integrity. Decorations included the Adjutant General Distinguished Service Medal, 14 January 1975 to 31 October 1983, Meritorious Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (Japan), and the Airforce Longevity Service Medal. Upon retirement, he had over 11,000 flight hours in over 40 different types of aircraft. On 28 December 1983, Major General Jones was appointed a Deputy Defense Secretary, under President Ronald Reagan. While assigned to the Pentagon, he was recognized as a national spokesman for the National Guard and served until 1985. At that time, he retired from Washington, DC. and returned to Atlanta, after forty-one years of distinguished service to the United States of America. After retirement, he resided in Marietta, GA where he was involved in Real Estate, Land Development, the Stock Market, and continued to own a farm in Sylvester, GA. A very humble and religious man, he became a Deacon of his Baptist Church when he was eighty years old. He passed away at his home on 4 September 2013 leaving behind his son, Jeff Jones, daughter, Jennifer Jones Rodgers, and son, Sidney Jones. General Jones was also the very proud grandfather of three grandchildren, Zachary, Meredith, and Wyatt Jones.
In recognition of his distinguished and honored service and contributions to aviation in the state of Georgia, Major General Billy Maddox Jones was enshrined into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame on April 28, 2018.