Joe L Payne was born on 11 December 1919 in Huntsville, Alabama. Leaving his college studies to fight in WWII, he entered the service on 27 June 1941. Captain (Infantry) Joe L. Payne, United States Army, was awarded the nation's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces from 10 to 13 January 1943, at Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands. Captain Payne's outstanding leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 25th Infantry Division, and the United States Army. Lieutenant Colonel Joe Payne left the service on 19 August 1946 as part of the WWII demobilization.