A very fine and most complete Second World War Bomber Command Halifax bomber Flight Engineer’s 1944 Distinguished Flying Medal and flying log book group awarded to Sergeant P.H. Joyce, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who flew between March and September 1944 on 39 operational sorties with 578 Squadron out of RAF Burn in Yorkshire, a period not without incident, his aircraft having been three times hit by flak, twice been attacked by fighters and twice having had to make forced landings. 19 of his sorties had been performed in daylight, and h
A very fine and most complete Second World War Bomber Command Halifax bomber Flight Engineer’s 1944 Distinguished Flying Medal and flying log book group awarded to Sergeant P.H. Joyce, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who flew between March and September 1944 on 39 operational sorties with 578 Squadron out of RAF Burn in Yorkshire, a period not without incident, his aircraft having been three times hit by flak, twice been attacked by fighters and twice having had to make forced landings. 19 of his sorties had been performed in daylight, and he had attacked a number of heavily defended targets, including making two sorties to the Kiel docks.
Group of 4: Distinguished Flying Medal, GVI 1st type bust; (1874852 SGT. P.H. JOYCE. R.A.F.); 1939-1945 Star; France and Germany Star; War Medal. Court mounted for wear.
Condition: Good Very Fine.
Together with the following:
Royal Air Force Flying Log Book for Navigators, Air Bombers, Air Gunners, Flight Engineers, issued to P. Joyce, covering the period from March 1944 through to September 1944, his complete run of flying duties.
Royal Air Force Service and Release Book, issued to Joyce, dated 21st February 1947.
Royal Air Force Certificate of Service and Release, dated 17th February 1947.
Together with a quantity of copied images relating to the recipient, his service and his crew.
Peter Herbert Joyce was born on 21st November 1924 in Brentwood, Essex, and with the ongoing Second World War, enlisted into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on 26th March 1943, and was then posted to No.1663 Conversion Unit where he qualified as an Air Gunner on 10th November 1943, and then underwent training as a Flight Engineer. His first flying experience was gained in Halifax bombers with 1663 Conversion Unit during March to April 1944 as a member of ‘A’ Flight, and where he joined and training with his future crew under Pilot Officer Ferry.
The crew was then posted operational to join No.578 Squadron at RAF Burn in Yorkshire from the beginning of May 1944, and he then flew in Halifax III aircraft as a Flight Engineer. On 8th May 1944 he took part in his first sortie, a raid on gun emplacements near Dieppe, and then performed a similar sortie to Tourville on 11th May. On 22nd May they took part in a sortie to Orleans, being diverted along the way and attacked by a fighter. Then on 24th May he took part in a sortie to the marshalling yards at Aachen. On 27th May he took part in a sortie to bomb a military camp at Boiurg-Leopold in Belgium, and on their return, having been again attacked by a fighter, they had to make a forced landing a Silverstone.
On D-Day, 6th June 1944, he took part in a sortie to bomb the marshalling yards at Chateaudun, and on 8th June he flew in a sortie to Alencon, after which his aircraft had to make a forced landing at Lissert. On 11th June he bombed the frontline at Mass Palaisan, and on 12th June bombed the marshalling yards at Amiens. Then on 14th June he bombed the marshalling yards at Douai, and on 15th June bombed Rennes. On 22nd June he bombed Sirecourt, and on 24th June bombed Le Grand Rossignie. Then on 27th June he bombed Marquise Mimoyecques, and on 28th June bombed Wizernes, attacking German Panzers. Finally for the month, on 30th June he bombed Villers Bocage.
On 1st July he took part in a sortie to Osisemont-Nouville-au Bois, and then on 5th July bombed St Martin L’Hortien. On 6th July he flew a sortie to Croixdale, and on 8th July flew a sortie to Castrelleries. On 12th July he flew a sortie to Thiyerny, attacking the ‘robot supply depot’ during which his aircraft was hit by flak. Then on 15th July he flew a sortie to Nucourt near Paris, and on 28th July flew a sortie to the Feret de Dieppe, attacking the V Weapon site, during which his aircraft was once again hit by Flak. On 29th July he flew in another sortie to the Foret de Nieppe.
Then on 1st August he flew a sortie to Ande Bleck which he described as a piece of cake. On 3rd August he flew a sortie to the Bois de Casson near Paris, during which he aircraft was once again hit by flak. Then on the 5th August he once again attacked the Foret de Nieppe, and win 6th August attacked the marshalling yards at Hazebrouck. On 9th August he attacked the V Weapon site at the Foret de Mormal, and on 11th August attacked the marshalling yards at Somain. On 12th August he bombed the Aussleheim airfield at Mainz, and on 15th August bombed Tiriemont in Belgium. On 16th August he bombed the Kiel dock area, and on 18th August bombed the oil storage depot at Sterkrade in the Ruhr. Finally for the month, on 26th August he bombed the naval guns at Brest to provide assistance for troops being bombarded by them.
Joyce’s final month of operations, involved four more sorties. On 11th September he flew a raid to the Ruhr oil refineries at Gelsenkirchen, and on 12th September flew a sortie to the railway yards at Munster. On 15th September he flew another raid to the Kiel dock area, and on 17th September titled ‘Last on thank ——‘ he flew a sortie to Boulogne.
Joyce completed his first and only operational tour, he having survived 39 sorties, during which his aircraft had certainly not come through unscathed, having been three times hit by flak, twice been attacked by fighters and twice having to make forced landings. 19 of his sorties had been performed in daylight.
Joyce was recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal on 16th September 1944, the day before his final operation, and the recommendation reads as follows: ‘Sergeant Joyce has carried out 39 operational sorties totalling 165.26 hours, including attacks on Aachen, Sterkrade, Russelheim and Kiel. Throughout his operational tour he has proved himself to be a very sound and steady Engineer and has worked extremely hard and efficiently, displaying a combination of technical and theoretical knowledge which had proved an indispensable factor in the successful culmination of every operation carried out by his crew. Supremely calm, well-disciplined and cool, Sergeant Joyce proved that he possesses the marked ability to cope without hesitation and with good common sense with whatever comes before him. His work and record inspired his crew and gained him their confidence. He is recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.’
Joyce was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal in the London Gazette for 8th December 1944. Joyce never flew again, and was latterly employed as a motor transport driver before being discharged on 17th February 1947. Joyce later lived in Maldon, Essex, where he worked as a bricklayer, and died on 6th January 2011.