Army Aviation Hall of Fame 1986 Induction
A "working aviator" who always strove to be above, the best, CW4 Don Joyce is one of those rare individuals who, in his 26-year Army career, always sought out the training, flying assignments, additional duties, and challenging career opportunities that would exceed the "norm" expected of him.
Graduating in the first Warrant Officer Class at Camp Rucker, AL, in April, 1955, he was among the first Aviation Warrant Officers selected for the Fixed Wing Qualification Course and was a member of the first Aviation Warrant Officer Advanced Career Course.
A solid achiever, he was Honor Graduate of his Fixed Wing Qualification Course, his AC-1 Caribou Qualification Course, his Rotary Wing Instrument Flight Examiners Course, and his Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course. Joyce later qualified in over 30 types, models, and series of fixed and rotary wing aircraft and flown several Air Force and Navy aircraft on special missions and test projects.
He was awarded his Master Army Aviator Badge at the 15-year mark with 6,000 flying hours - twice the minimum requirement - and both fixed-wing and rotary-wing Special Instrument Cards. During his career he earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and 39 Air Medals, and on one notable occasion he self-deployed from Ft. Benning to Vietnam with his Caribou unit by way of Greenland, Europe, the Middle East, and Thailand.
As his Army Aviation experience grew, CW4 Joyce became an early spokesman for flight pay equality for Aviation Warrant Officers - volunteering his personal time, energy, and funds. A highly competent journalist and unfrocked Army Aviation historian, his photo stories were published in many military journals and papers. Army Aviation and the Aviation Warrant Officer has been his life throughout his career. Controversial at times and always dedicated, he's been ready whenever duty called.