Joseph served in the Army Air Corps in the 8th Air Force 93rd Bomb Group 409th Bomb Squadron in Hardwick, Norfork, England where he was on the crew of a Consolidated B-24. Joseph also served in the 9th Air Force, 93rd Bomb Group Heavy, 328th Bomb Squadron in Africa. He is listed as Command Pilot on a B-24 on the 1 Aug 1943 raid of the Ploesti oil fields in Romania.
Joseph Tate had a short but distinguished military career that ended when he died during WWII. According to the Missing Air Crew Report, MACR, for the mission which took his life and those of eight other crew members, the plane was hit by enemy flak on a mission to Osnabruck. The crew was originally MIA until later when it was determined that they all perished.