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Old 02-01-2009, 08:52 PM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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Col Joseph A. Mitchell USMC (ret), 87, San Antonio, TX

Col Joseph A. Mitchell, USMC (Ret), 87 of San Antonio TX passed away 28 Jan 2009. He was a Marine fighter pilot and veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He had a wide and diverse military career including several command and staff positions within and outside the Marine Corps. The multitude and variety of aircraft he flew were also diverse from flying the open air cockpit Stearman to flying the supersonic F-4 Phantom II. He flew Wildcats and Corsairs during WWII in VMF-441 in the Ellis, Gilbert and Marshall Islands in the Pacific Theater. After WWII, he graduated in Class 2 of the Naval Test Pilot School in 1949 and was later in the first Marine jet fighter squadron at MCAS Cherry Point, NC. He deployed to Korea and served in VMF-311 flying 100 combat missions over North Korea in the F-9F Panther jet. Astronaut John Glenn and baseball great Ted Williams were squadron mates in that squadron. He commanded the Marine Aviation Detachment and was the senior Marine on the Commander, Naval Air Test Center staff, Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, MD 1959-1962. He also commanded Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-314 (1964-1965) and Marine Aircraft Group-15 (1969). In Vietnam he served as the Air Officer of the 1st Marine Division at DaNang (1969-1970). Other staff assignments included tours in Korea as the Marine Corps liaison officer, attached to the U.S. 5th Air Force Headquarters in Seoul, Korea, in Naples, Italy with Allied Air Forces of Southern Europe, NATO staff and in Hawaii with Commander, Pacific Command, J-3 Staff, Camp Smith. He attended the Air Force Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL 1958-1959, Marine Corps Senior School Quantico, VA 1962-1963 and the Army War College Carlisle Barracks, PA 1966-1967. He amassed hundreds of carrier landings in prop and jet fighter aircraft with numerous deployments in the Pacific, Caribbean, and Mediterranean Seas. He was a lifetime member of the Marine Corps Association and the Marine Corps Aviation Association. His personal decorations included: 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Star w/Combat V, 16 Single Mission Air Medals, Navy Commendation Medal w/Combat V and numerous campaign medals, ribbons and awards related to his service in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. A devoted husband and role model for his family. He was preceded in death by his wife Frances and survived by his children Col Joseph A. Mitchell Jr. USMC (Ret) and his wife Christine Mitchell, Patricia E. Mitchell, Margaret B. Ganey and her husband Joseph Ganey, Lt Col John J. Mitchell, USAF (Ret) and his wife Col Alvina Mitchell, USAF (Ret), Kathleen F. Sperry and her husband Paul Sperry, 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. The Memorial Mass will be 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 2042 Huebner Rd. San Antonio, TX 78258. The entombment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park, San Antonio, TX. To pay tribute to the life of Col. Joseph A. Mitchell, please visit our website at for more information. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his memory to the Marine Corps Aviation Association (MCAA).
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