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Captain Joseph M. Forster

Captain Joseph M. Forster

Captain Joseph M. ForsterBorn on 25 October 1919 in Gainesville, Florida, Joseph Morelle Forster enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 12 June 1940. Later accepted for pilot training, he graduated at Williams Field, Arizona on 22 June 1943. Following fighter transition training, on 26 October 1943 he was assigned to fly P-38s with the 432nd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group "Satan's Angels", based at Dobodura, New Guinea.

On 3 April 1944 Lieutenant Forster scored his first confirmed victories by destroying two Tony's and an Oscar over Hollandia. A fourth victory came on 14 October 1944 while escorting B-24s from Morotai, Halmahera to Balikpapan, Borneo. Shortly after he destroyed a Zeke 52, another Zeke attacked and shot up Forster's left engine. Diving above red-line speed and using dive flaps to pull out above the ocean waves, he eluded his attacker. With the left engine streaming smoke and the oil pressure at zero, he shut down the engine and feathered the prop. From that point, he flew alone more than 900 miles, zigzagging across the Celebes back to Morotai for a total mission time of eight hours and twenty minutes. He became an ace on 2 November when he destroyed an Oscar south of Ponson Island, and was credited with four more victories over the next six weeks, scoring his last, a Zeke, on Christmas Day.

In December 1945 Captain Forster returned to the U.S. Subsequent assignments included duty with the United Nations in Palestine; Commander 3526th Flying Training Squadron, Williams AFB; advisor to the Korean Air Force; Commander 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron in Vietnam.

Forster retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel on 1 February 1971, and subsequently served 16 years with the city of Phoenix, Arizona in Building Safety and retired as Supervisor of Residential Inspections.

Tally Record:
9 Confirmed
3 Probable
1 Damaged 

Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Cluster
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal 

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