Joseph Miles was born in Harlem Georgia in 1924. He graduated from Harlem High School in 1943, and enlisted in the Army Air Corps, serving as an aircraft mechanic. He was accepted into the aviation cadet program and earned his wings with class 45A. Joe was serving with the 40th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, stationed in Japan, when the war in Korea started. The squadron had recently transitioned from the P-51 to the F-80. The 40th FIS was the first Air Force squadron sent into Korea.. North Korean Forces had moved to the southern tip of the Korean peninsula penning the South Korean. army against the coastline. The 40th FIS flew ground attack missions in support for these forces. Many of the missions were flown at 150 feet or less and were so successful that the North Koreans would later admit that the low level missions were highly instrumental in stopping their drive south.
Miles flew 101 combat missions in support of these forces from July 1950 to November 1950. The first seven missions were flown in the F-80 and the remainder in the F-51D. Miles earned his airplane and PowerPlane License in 1952. He later joined Northrup University as an aviation maintenance instructor and was an FAA designated examiner with IA authority. Promoted in 1969 to assistant director of training he later became the director and held that position until his retirement in 1990. During his tenure, he developed maintenance training programs for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Douglas Aircraft and Hughes Helicopter companies. In addition, he developed a training program for high school students at the Southern California Regional Occupation Center. Working with the FAA the standards he developed and upgraded for aircraft and engine technician training continue to be used either directly or as guidelines throughout the world. In recognition of his achievements, he was made an honorary member of the Society of Airway Pioneers.
Miles was elected to the Board of Trustees of Northrup University in 1989 and retired the following year. He received an honorary doctorate from the university, a distinguished Alumni Award and was made Director Emeritus. He continues to take an active role in aviation working with the FAA in the construction and maintenance of aircraft, and is a charter member of the local Air Force Association Chapter. He also serves as a host in the history tent at the Boshears Memorial Fly-In. In recognition of his enormous contributions to aviation with a special sense of commitment to this country and to humanity, Mile was enshrined during the Centennial year of Aviation in Georgia on April 28, 2007 into the Georgia Aviation hall of Fame.