67 Years Ago: Joe Joiner of the 4th FG bags two

The Fourth Fighter Group launched an escort on Feb. 19, 1945 to Nurnberg. The bombers aborted, so the group went strafing in the Neumarkt-Regensburg area. Unfortunately, Capt. John Fitch was hit by flak after strafing and bailed out southwest of Neumarkt; he was seen to be safe on the ground, and he became a POW shortly thereafter.

Near Nurnberg, Joe Joiner was on his way to strafe when he spotted a pair of Fw 190s at about 500 feet. “The 190s were flying line abreast formation and I took the one on the left. I fired a short burst from about 250 yards and his belly tank exploded. After the smoke cleared I fired another long burst from about 150 yards and the 190 exploded in a huge ball of flame and went into the deck.”

The other 190 broke to the right and tried to escape at tree-top level. “I started firing from line astern and saw a few scattered strikes on the wings,” said Joiner. “I had to stop firing then, because Capt. (Kendall) Carlson was making a pass at the same 190 from a 45-degree angle. I started firing again and closed to about 100 yards. I was firing at him when he crash-landed in a field and as he made a good crash landing I came back and strafed the plane.”

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