Major Joe C. Earley (°29 mei 1920) sneuvelde op 13 januari 1945 bij de crash van zijn P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27230. Hij maakte deel uit van de 366th Fighter Group, 389th Fighter Squadron met basis Y29 Asch. Hij woonde in Appanoose County, Iowa (US). Major Earley kreeg het Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal en Purple Heart.
Info Thibaut Westhof (3 juni 2012).
Het verhaal van de crash van Earley is te vinden op www.fieldsofhonor-database.com :
Statement from Cpt Karsell W. Bates:
« I was flying red three position in slipshod Squadron on 13 January, 1945. At approximately 12.40, Major Earley, who was leading the squadron, elected to go down in an attempt to identify a concentration of vehicles. Directing us to remain above the target, he split and I watched him take a pass at a small town directly below. Suddenly, I noticed a flame glowing in the vicinity of the cockpit. This flame suddenly engulfed the entire fuselage behind the cockpit. Major Earley at this time was at about 500. I took my eyes off his plane for an instant in order to check the location of other aircraft and, when next I looked, I saw a terrific flash of flame catapulting along the ground. I did not see anyone bail out and, in my opinion, the aircraft was completely destroyed by the explosion. »