Maj. Milton Joel

(Jack Jenkins via NARS)

Maj. Milton Joel

38th FS - October 1942 - 29 November 1943 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-38H 42-67020 "Flying Wolf" (Robert and Donna Sand)

Mission History

17 Missions

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target
01 15 October 1943 Sweep - Dutch Islands
n/a 16 October 1943 Practice Mission (White Leader)
02 16 October 1943 Sweep - Dutch Islands (Red Leader)
03 17 October 1943 Sweep - Dutch Islands (White Leader)
04 18 October 1943 Sweep - Dutch Islands (Red Leader)
05 19 October 1943 Sweep - Amiens Area (White Leader)
06 20 October 1943 Duren (Yellow Leader)
07 22 October 1943 Cambrai (White Leader)
08 24 October 1943 St. Andre L'Eure (White Leader)
n/a 30 October 1943 Mission Aborted (Yellow Leader)
09 03 November 1943 Wilhelmshaven (White Leader)
10 05 November 1943 Gelsenkirchen (White Leader)
11 07 November 1943 Sweep - Ostend-St Omer Area (Yellow Leader)
12 07 November 1943 Sweep - Lille Area (White Leader)
13 10 November 1943 Montdidier Airdrome (White Leader)
14 11 November 1943 Munster (White Leader)
15 13 November 1943 Bremen (Yellow Leader)
17 26 November 1943 Bremen (White Leader)
18 29 November 1943 Bremen (White Leader)
Air Scores
Ground Scores
Score Detail 03 November 1943  (.5)FW-190 destroyed (air) Westerholt-Wittmund
03 November 1943  (2)FW-190 damaged (air) N/Wilhelmshaven
05 November 1943  Me-109 destroyed (air) W/Arnheim
13 November 1943  Ju-88 destroyed (air) Bremen
13 November 1943  Ju-88 probable (air) Bremen
13 November 1943  Me-109 probable (air) Bremen
13 November 1943  Me-109 damaged (air) Bremen
Notes Major Joel was from Richmond Virginia.
Studied at Thomas Jefferson High School, Richmond, VA
20 November 1943 - Awarded the Air Medal
29 November 1943 - Missing in Action
MACR No. 01429

Capt. R.C. Franklin, Jr. of Mojave, California, 343rd Fighter Squadron reported: "On 29 December 1943, my wingman, Lt. J.W. Gilbride, and myself participated in an engagement in which Major Joel, C.O. of the 38th Fighter Squadron, and his wingman, Lt. Garvin, were lost and possibly this statement might shed some light on their disappearance.

"The main body of the group was proceeding toward home when Major Joel was heard calling for help from far behind us. Lt. Gilbride and I turned back to help but it took several minutes for us to reach the fight. As we drew near we could see five P-38s engaged and each had from one to three Me-109s on its tail. Just before we went into the fight one P-38 rolled over and went down with its left engine leaving a very long and very heavy trail of black smoke and with a 109 directly behind. As my wingman and I flew into the middle of the engagement the E/A were surprised into rolling away from the ships they were attacking and we were all able to take a heading for home. At this time there were four P-38s left besides my wingman and myself. As we started home we were followed by E/A and we tried to out run them. One of the four P-38s ran away from the rest and disappeared. The five of us remaining were eventually caught by the E/A and engaged again."

"After we saw the one P-38 go down smoking I did not again recognize Major Joel's voice on the radio. The five of us that later were engaged by the pursuing E/A were, Capt. Ayers, Capt. Beaird, Lt. Erickson, Lt. Gilbride and myself. On this attack I lost one engine that had been going bad and when I recovered the only other P-38 visible in the area was piloted by Lt. Erickson. We came out together."

"In view of the circumstances it is my personal opinion that the P-38 we saw shot down was piloted by Major Joel and the one that ran away from us was piloted by Lt. Garvin, who did not return."

The fact that Major Joel was a Jew brought his fate as a downed airman a matter of great concern by his entire unit.  Major Joel was downed near Oldenburg, Germany.  His name is on the Wall of the Missing, Cambridge American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Coton, Cambridgeshire, England.
Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble


Back to 38th Fighter Squadron Pilots