E. Grahame Joy

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Ernst Grahame Joy
Born (1888-11-02)2 November 1888
Anniston, Alabama, USA
Died 21 June 1993(1993-06-21) (aged 104)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Expeditionary Force
British Army
Royal Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Rank Major
Unit 74th Battalion, CEF
60th Battalion, CEF
Central Ontario Regiment, CEF
No. 49 Squadron RFC
No. 57 Squadron RFC
No. 205 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars World War I
 • Western Front
World War II
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross
Other work Lawyer

Major Ernst Grahame Joy DFC (2 November 1888 – 21 June 1993) was an American-born Canadian who became a flying ace during the First World War, credited with eight aerial victories.[1] He had set aside his law studies and family obligations to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force, then transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. While he left military service after World War I to practice law, he would return to the colours for World War II.

Early life[edit]

Ernst Grahame Joy was born in Anniston, Alabama, U. S. A. on 2 November 1888.[2] He was the son of Jean Hannah Grahame and Harold Holt Joy.[3]

He was a third year law student in Osgoode Hall Law School's Class of 1916[4] in Toronto when he enlisted into the 74th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 1 July 1915. On his enlistment forms, he claimed to be married. Because of five years previous experience in the Canadian military, he was accepted at the rank of major. His oath of allegiance to King George V denoted him as a naturalized Canadian citizen, as an American could not swear such an oath without losing his citizenship.[2] However, genealogical records give his marriage date as 15 July 1915. He married Dorothy Ewart Primrose of Toronto in Humphries Township. His military unit at time of marriage was recorded as 60th Battalion, CEF.[3] Joy's physical examination at enlistment showed him to be 6 ft 12 in (1.84 m) tall, with swarthy complexion and brown hair and eyes.[2]

World War I[edit]

Joy was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps from the Central Ontario Regiment, CEF, and appointed a flying officer on 23 April 1917.[5][6] On 9 May 1917, he was posted to No. 49 Squadron, but soon moved on to No. 23 Squadron. In June or July 1917, he was assigned to No. 57 Squadron as a bomber pilot. He would score seven victories for them in July and August 1917, before going to No. 205 Squadron.[7] On 1 September 1917, he was appointed a flight commander.[8] He would score once more, on 4 November 1918, a week before the armistice.[7]

List of aerial victories[edit]

Combat record[1][9]
No. Date/Time Aircraft/
Serial No.
Opponent Result Location Notes
No. 57 Squadron RFC
1 28 July 1917
@ 1830 hours
Airco DH.4
Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Ingelmunster Observer/gunner: Forde Leathley
2 Albatros D.V Driven down out of control
3 16 August 1917
@ 1745 hours
Airco DH.4
Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Houthulst Observer/gunner: Forde Leathley
4 17 August 1917
@ 0730–0732 hours
Airco DH.4
Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Menen Observer/gunner: Forde Leathley
5 Albatros D.V Driven down out of control
6 Albatros D.V Driven down out of control
7 20 August 1917
@ 1115 hours
Airco DH.4
Albatros D.V Driven down out of control East of Ypres Observer/gunner: Forde Leathley
No. 205 Squadron RAF
8 4 November 1918 @ 1535 hours Airco DH.9a
Fokker D.VII Destroyed Maubeuge Observer/gunner: L. A. Drain

Post World War I[edit]

On 31 May 1919, Joy's secondment to the RAF ended,[10] and he also relinquished his commission.[11] He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1919, though no details of the award are available. There also is no record of his discharge date from the military; however, he returned to Canada and practiced law.[12]

Joy served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.[13]

He died in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 21 June 1993.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Ernest Graham Joy". The Aerodrome. 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Ernst Grahame Joy's Attestation Paper". The Aerodrome. 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Muskoka & Parry Sound Dist., 1911–1922". Ancestry.com. 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  4. ^ Canada Law Journal, pp. 195–196.
  5. ^ "No. 30352". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 October 1917. p. 11022. 
  6. ^ "No. 30074". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 May 1917. p. 4775. 
  7. ^ a b Franks, Guest & Alegi (1997), pp. 68-69.
  8. ^ "No. 30318". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 September 1917. p. 10163. 
  9. ^ Franks, Guest & Alegi (1997), p. 69.
  10. ^ "No. 31429". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 July 1919. p. 8327. 
  11. ^ "No. 31467". The London Gazette. 22 July 1919. p. 9254. 
  12. ^ a b Franks, Guest & Alegi (1997), p. 68.
  13. ^ "Major Ernest Graham Joy". Canadian Great War Project. 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  • Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell F. & Alegi, Gregory (1997). Above the War Fronts: The British Two-seater Bomber Pilot and Observer Aces, the British Two-seater Fighter Observer Aces, and the Belgian, Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Fighter Aces, 1914–1918: Volume 4 of Fighting Airmen of WWI Series: Volume 4 of Air Aces of WWI. London, UK: Grub Street. ISBN 978-1-898697-56-5. 
  • The Canada Law Journal, Volume 52. Law Society of Upper Canada, Canadian Bar Association; editors: James Patton, W. D. Ardagh, Robert Alexander Harrison, Henry O'Brien, Charles Bagot Labatt, Charles Morse. Canada Law Book Company, Limited, 1916.