Daniel C. Jones was born in Kenton, Ohio, in 1924, the son of Cecelia and Dean Jones. He had three older sisters: Louise, Ruth, and Grace. Jones enlisted in the United States Army in April 1943 and trained at Seymour Johnson Field in North Carolina (now Seymour Johnson Air Force Base) from May-June 1943. In July 1943, he transferred to Peterson Field, Colorado (now Peterson Air Force Base), where he served with the 949th Engineer Aviation Topographic Company. Around November 1943, he moved to Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma, where he joined the 950th Engineer Topographic Company. While at Will Rogers Field, he suffered from a mental and physical illness, and he spent much of January and February 1944 in the base hospital. Daniel Jones's father died before the war and his mother, Cecelia Jones, lived in Kenton, Ohio. His sister Louisa Jones and her husband, Dr. Herbert L. Fish, lived in Springfield, Ohio.