John James Voll

media-24692.jpeg UPL 24692 Captain John J. Voll
31st Fighter Group - 308th Fighter Squadron - 15th AF

21 Victory Ace - Top scoring pilot in the 15th aF

Object Number - UPL 24692 - Captain John J. Voll 31st Fighter Group - 308th Fighter Squadron - 15th AF 21 Victory Ace - Top scoring pilot in the 15th aF

21 Victory Ace - Top scoring ace in the 15th AF

Captain Voll was credited with destroying 21 enemy aircraft in aerial combat between June and November 1944. Flying a P-51D named "American Beauty," his final victories occurred during a spectacular, individual effort. While leading an escort mission to Munich on November 16, 1944, Captain Voll experienced electrical problems and left the formation. As he returned alone, he spotted a single Ju-88 over Udine, Italy. Chasing the German aircraft as it attempted to return to its base, Voll was suddenly jumped by twelve Me-109s and FW-190s. He quickly dispatched the Ju-88 and turned into the enemy fighters.

In a swirling, 5-minute battle, John destroyed two FW-190s, one Me-109, had two probables, and two damaged. This was such an impressive feat of courage and stamina, but John’s commander feared that time was against him and decided that this would be his last combat mission. So John was sent to China as a headquarters staff officer in the China-American Composite Wing. He was the third highest scoring Mustang ace of the war, and the top U.S.A.A.F. ace of the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, with 21 victories.

After returning to the states, he served in the Pacific Theater before leaving active duty on November 13, 1945, just three days shy of the one year anniversary of his infamous air battle. Following his discharge, John returned home. In the fall of 1946, he returned to his alma mater and was hired as a Goshen High School science teacher. He taught two years before being recalled to active duty on October 26, 1948.

On January 8, 1949, John married, Joan Marguerite Koch, from Blanchester, Ohio. Joan was born January 3, 1933 in Lynchburg, Ohio. John served with the 3525th Pilot Training Wing at Williams AFB, Arizona, until October 1949. He was then transferred to the 66th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.

He served with the 66th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, until October 1951, and then he was assigned to the 1002nd Inspector General Group at Norton AFB, California, where he served as a Power Plant Specialist and Inspector until August 1954. While there he attended Air Command and Staff College, graduating in June 1955. Voll then served with Air Defense Command at Hamilton AFB, California, from July 1955 to November 1958. He received an undergraduate degree from San Francisco State College in 1957. A new assignment took him to the Air Force Advisory Group at Kimpo AB, South Korea, where he remained until November 1960. From November 1960 to October 1961, Voll served with the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cannon AFB, New Mexico. He then served as the Commander of the 522nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, also at Cannon, from October 1961 to July 1962, and then he was assigned as an Operations Staff Officer for the 832nd Air Division at Cannon.

His next assignment was with Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley AFB, Virginia, where he served from October 1962 to August 1964. He received a master’s in management from George Washington University in 1964.

John then attended Naval Warfare School at Newport, Rhode Island, graduating in June 1965. From July 1965 to June 1966, he went through air Attaché training and was assigned as Air Attaché to Singapore from June 1966 to July 1968. Colonel Voll served as the Chief of the Plans Division for the 6250th Support Squadron at Tan Son Nhut AB in the Republic of Vietnam from July 1968 to August 1969.

He completed Armed Forces Staff College, graduating in June 1970 and received his final assignment as commander of the 77th Aeronautical Systems Wing at McClellan AFB, California. This assignment lasted from October 1973 until his retirement from the Air Force on July 31, 1974. John had 32 years of military service.

John Voll’s valor earned him the Distinguished Service Cross…

. "The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to John J. Voll (0-705511), Captain (Air Corps), U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-51 Fighter Airplane in the 308th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, FIFTEENTH Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on 16 November 1944, in the European Theater of Operations. After destroying a JU 88 in the Udine area, Captain Voll was jumped by a dozen enemy fighters. Despite being heavily outnumbered, he remained in the fight, shooting down four more enemy to become an ace in a day. Captain Voll's unquestionable valor in aerial combat is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 15th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces."

Headquarters: European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, General Orders No. 61 (1944)

Home Town: Goshen, Ohio

John was also awarded the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Clusters

Silver Star Awarded for actions during the World War II

"Captain (Air Corps) John J. Voll (ASN: 0-705511), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the FIFTEENTH Air Force in the Mediterranean Theater of Action during World War II."

And he was awarded the Air Medal with 26 Oak Leaf Clusters.

John and Joan Voll had 2 children. After retiring, they lived at 23 Lois Lane, Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. John died in Lexington, Mass. on September 12, 1987, age 65, and is buried at the Massachusetts Veterans Administration National Cemetery, Connery Avenue, Bourne, Massachusetts, Section 9 Site 727. His wife, Joan died on July 28, 1999 and is buried with John.


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Units served with


 A P-51 Mustang (HL-B, serial number 44-15459) nicknamed "American Beauty" of the 31st Fighter Group, 15th Air Force in flight.
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Nicknames: American Beauty
  • Unit: 31st Fighter Group 308th Fighter Squadron


Event Location Date Description


Cincinnati, OH, USA 3 May 1922


5 August 1942


1st Victory

Ploiești, Romania 23 June 1944 Fw-190


2nd & 3rd Victories

Vienna, Austria 26 June 1944 Me-210 Bf-109


4th Victory

Budapest, Hungary 27 June 1944 Bf-109


5th Victory

Budapest, Hungary 2 July 1944 Bf-109


6th Victory

Memmingen, Germany 18 July 1944 Fw-190


7th & 8th Victories

Ploiești, Romania 17 August 1944 Bf-109 Bf-109


9th Victory

Czech Republic 28 August 1944 Fi-156


10th Victory

Czech Republic 29 August 1944 Fw-190


11th, 12th & 13th Victories

Czech Republic 31 August 1944 Ju-52 Ju-52 C.202


14th, 15th & 16th Victories

Blechhammer, 92439 Bodenwöhr, Germany 17 October 1944 Bf-109 Bf-109 Do-217


17th Victory

Vienna, Austria 6 November 1944 Bf-109


18th-21st Victories

16 November 1944 Ju-52 Fw-190 Fw-190 Bf-109 -16-44 Northern Italy- Returning from a mission, Voll spotted a Ju 52 and began the pursuit. While gaining on the Ju52, seven FW-190's and five Bf-109's bounced him. He downed the Ju52 and began the fight with twelve enemy fighters! When it was over, he had bagged (2) FW-190 and (1) Bf-109 while damaging several others, "it was just a matter of shooting everything that passed in front of me." This made him the top scoring ace of the 15th AF.


Lexington, MA, USA 12 September 1987

Buried/ Commemorated

Bourne, MA, USA 16 September 1987 Massachusetts National Cemetery Bourne Barnstable County Massachusetts, USA Plot: 9, 0, 727



NARA files verified ASN upon entry and officer number in service section, DFC with one Oak Leaf Cluster and ACM under awards.


John James Voll: Gallery (3 items)