Joseph G. Muhlmeister, 82, postal chief, bomber pilot

November 02, 2003

Joseph G. Muhlmeister, a former Postal Service supervisor in Baltimore and World War II bomber pilot, died Friday of cancer at the Stella Maris Hospice. A longtime resident of Overlea, he was 82.

Mr. Muhlmeister was born in Annapolis and raised in Baltimore from age 1. He graduated from Loyola High School in 1938.

Shortly after graduation, Mr. Muhlmeister enlisted in the Army Air Forces, which sent him to flight training at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.

In 1942, he was called to active duty in World War II. A year later he received his wings and was sent overseas.

Mr. Muhlmeister flew 23 missions over Germany as pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress. He was a member of the 487th Bomber Group of the 8th Air Force, stationed in Lavenham, England.

Dean Boyd, a co-pilot of Mr. Muhlmeister's during the war, wrote a book, Black at 12 O'Clock, detailing some of their adventures.

"I was a kid at the time, 19," said Mr. Boyd of Prescott, Ariz. "He was a little older than I was. But he was not like some pilots. He shared the duties. He was a good man."

In 1946, Mr. Muhlmeister joined what became the U.S. Postal Service, serving as a supervisor in the main Baltimore post office until his retirement in 1981.

He also served in the Air Force Reserve for 20 years until the mid-1960s.

"He just loved life and people," said niece Mary Daignault of Baldwin. "He gave help to anybody that needed help. He always smiled."

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church, 10 Willow Ave., Overlea.

In addition to his niece, Mr. Muhlmeister is survived by two sisters, Loretta Loughlin of Parkville and Rita Sullivan of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; two other nieces; two nephews; eight great-nephews and two great-nieces.

Donations may be made in his name to Loyola High School, 500 Chestnut Ave., Baltimore.

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