Atkinson, Joseph Harris.

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Defense Distinguished Service Medal.png
airforceGeneral Lieutenant
Atkinson, Joseph Harris, born 05-02-1900 in Dublin, Texas, to Alfred Frank Atkinson Sr., who was 42 and his mother, Lucille Lucy, born Jerome, she was 41. Joseph married Irene Claudia Allen on 24-06-1922, in Ketchikan, Revillagigedo Island, Ketchikan Gateway, Alaska, United States. They were the parents of at least 1 daughter.
Joseph became a was a United States Air Force General. He was the commanding General of the 5th Bombardment Wing during World War II. He enlisted in the Army on 20-12-1922, a half year after his marriage and became a flying cadet in September 1923, and earned his wings and commission as a second lieutenant 13-09-1924 after completing training at Brooks and Kelly fields. He also served with the 12th Observation Squadron  , commanded by Major Henry “Happy”Arnold
   . During world War II, Joseph Atkinson, was commander of different Bombardment Squadrons. On 18-01-1943, Atkinson was promoted to Brigadier General and made Commanding General of the 5th Bomb Wing, nickname “The Warbirds” File:5th Bomb Wing.png , stationed first in Africa and later in Italy. While in Italy, General Atkinson was designated as deputy Commanding General of the Fifteenth Air Force in February 1944. The only 15th AF mission to Berlin was on 24-03-1945 when 666 bombers struck the capital, Munich, and other German targets, as well as Czechoslovakia. The Berlin force was attacked by Me 262 jets that inflicted losses (one bombers and five fighters) while the Mustangs claimed eight jets downed – actual Luftwaffe records show only 3 x Me 262’s lost in this engagement. The 47th BW and 55th BW fragged Fliegerhorst Neuburg damaging / destroying 54 x Me 262A-1’s from III./Kampfgeschwader (J) “Blitz”  under command of Major Fritz Auffhammer, 54, 304th BW attacked Fliegerhorst Münich-Riem destroying 13 x Me 262’s. Auffhammer survived the war and died old age 87 on 14-06-2002. The NASM’s Me 262 shows a claim credit for a B-17 shot down this date.The last major effort came on 25 April when 467 bombers struck rail targets in Austria, severing communications into Czechoslovakia. The 15th’s final bombing mission was flown 1 May when 27 B-17s escorted by 51 P38’s of the 14th FG attacked Salzburg rail targets. With the German surrender in Italy, 15th Air Force aircraft began dropping supplies over Yugoslavia and evacuating Allied prisoners of war performing its last mission on 16-5-1945. A total of around 2,110 bombers were lost on operations by its 15 B-24 and six B-17 bombardment groups, while its seven fighter groups claimed a total of 1,836 enemy aircraft destroyed. The Fifteenth was inactivated in Italy 15-09-1945.
Joseph remained in that assignment until July 1944 when he was designated as Commanding General of the III Bomber Command, at MacDill Field, Florida

Death and burial ground of Atkinson, Joseph Harris.

Joseph Harris Atkinson died at the old age of 84, on 06-11-1984 and is buried on the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA, Section 3. Close by the graves of  General, who directed the development of the United States’ original jet engine and jet aircraft. Benjamin Wiley Chidlaw, General Lieutenant, Commander Sixth Air Force, Hubert Reilly Harmon, General, Commander 15th Air Force , Emmet “Rosie” O’Donnel Jr. The Fifteenth dropped 303.842 tons of bombs on enemy targets in nine countries of Europe, including military installations in eight capital cities. Its combat personnel made 148.955 heavy bomber sorties and 87.732 fighter sorties against the enemy. It lost 3.364 aircraft and 21.671 personnel killed, wounded, missing and taken prisoner — 20.30 bomber crewmen and 1.187 fighter pilots.
Also buried here Lieutenant General, Chief of Air Staff, Georg Edward Stratemeyer and Navy Bomber Squadron Leader, Clarence Wade McClusky.

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