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Joseph H Joiner


Joseph Joiner grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he dreamed of being a fighter pilot as he watched the Navy planes fly overhead from the Naval Air Station. When the war started, he applied to both the Navy and the Army pilot training programmes. The Army accepted him first, and upon completion of the Aviation Cadet Programme he was assigned to the 4th Fighter Group, 336th Squadron.
In time his flight commanders were shot down one by one, and he became a Flight Commander - prematurely he felt, since he had only 170 hours of combat and had graduated only nine months earlier from flying training.
Joe went on to complete his tour and two additional 50-hour extensions. On 20 February 1945, on his third 50-hour extension, he flew his 84th and last combat mission. It was a fitting way to end his tour, as he shot down two Fw-190s. Colonel Stewart, the Group Commander, insisted that Joe take a 30 day leave to the States. While at home he heard the European war was ending, so he cut his leave short and returned to New York, hoping to rejoin his Group, which he felt would be heading to the Pacific, but for the Group and for him the war was over.
Colonel Joiner led the 336th Squadron on 20 combat missions and the entire Group on two missions. among his other notable accomplishments Joe flew a tour in Vietnam, a tour as Squadron Commander of F-102s in Greenland during the "Cold war", and flew a P-51 on the first Air Force aerobatic team, "The Red Devils", in Las Vegas in 1948 and 1949.
Joe had 8.5 enemy aircraft destroyed to his credit flying with the 4th Fighter Group, where he earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, nine Air Medals, and a Unit Citation.


Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    Some of the pilots of the 4th Fighter Group had seen many hours of combat by the time they joined the 4th Fighter Group as they had volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. The three 'Eagle Squadrons' of RAF Fighter...

  • 336th Fighter Squadron

    336th Fighter Squadron

    The 336th Fighter Squadron was constituted by the War Department on 22 august 1942, and was activated at Bushey Hall, England, on 12 September. It had been designated as No. 133 (Eagle) Squadron, and was made up of American volunteers to the Royal Air...


  • 43-6573 'Rebel' "Millie M'Love"

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 33FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Lost 11-Sep-44 Strafing Langansalza aerodrome, hit by Flak, belly landed nearby. Pilot Lt Henry A Ingalls survived crash. POW. MACR 8680.

  • 44-13630 'Rebel' 'Betty Jane II' 'Honey' ''Darlin' Doris'' 'Pittsburgh Smoker'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 505FS, 339FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 354FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bomber escort mission, suffered engine failure, A/C abandoned. Pilot Lt Albert A Zimmerman Evaded EVD. 2-Nov-44....

  • 44-14548 'Rebel'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF.

  • 44-14360 'Rebel'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal A/C Capt Joseph H Joiner.

Associated Place

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...


Event Location Date
Born Plainview, Texas 7 November 1921
Lived in Corpus Christi, TX, USA


Date Contributor Update
12 May 2021 18:51:26 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations

Date Contributor Update
03 August 2016 14:19:50 general ira snapsorter Changes to service number

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia ;
- Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list;
- /

Date Contributor Update
11 March 2016 20:45:51 Al_Skiff Changes to nickname, awards, unit associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 16:21:06 apollo11 Changes to firstname, highest rank, role, biography, awards, events and place associations

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:20 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / self