Captain Joseph H. Powers, U.S. Air Force, was born 8 June 1920 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended school in Tulsa and graduated Tulsa Central High School. He was attending The University of Oklahoma on 7 December 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, causing the United States to enter World War II in defense against Japan, Germany and Italy. He entered the U.S. Army Air Forces through the U.S. Army Air Forces' Aviation Cadet Program. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces based at Halesworth, England. He became an Ace in 1943 flying a P-47C. He was officially credited with 14.5 enemy aircraft shot down at the time World War II was over. He was just one half an aircraft short of being a triple Ace.
After World War II Capt Powers remained in the U.S. Army Air Forces which in 1947 became the U.S. Air Force. During the Korea War he was assigned to the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 18th Fighter Bomber Group at the time of his death, 18 January 1951, when he was shot down. His remains were never recovered. Capt Powers' awards and decorations include the Silver Star, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, Purple Heart, and five Air Medals.