Joe Riojas was stationed in the Pacific during World War II with the Army Air Corps, but his letters home never told the dangers he faced.
Riojas was assigned to the 58th Fighter Group, 69th Fighter Squadron. Later, he was transferred to the 338th Fighter Group. His unit was part of the Allied Forces' "island-hopping" strategy in the Pacific -- taking territory back from the Japanese.
He was born in Lockhart, Texas, 27 miles south of Austin, on Sept. 19, 1924. He was one of 13 children born to Gregorio Riojas and Macedonia Martines.