Joyner, Donald Arrington, Lt Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1972-1972, 22nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy
Service Years
1953 - 1972
Lieutenant Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

14 kb

Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Stephen Willcox to remember Joyner, Donald Arrington, Lt Col.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Henderson, NC
Last Address
U-Tapao RTAFB, Thailand

Casualty Date
Dec 27, 1972
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Liberty Christian Church Cemetery - Epsom, North Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01W 106

 Official Badges 

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 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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Navigator Observer (Senior)

 Unit Assignments
Strategic Air Command (SAC)307th Strategic Wing22nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy
  1971-1972, Strategic Air Command (SAC)
  1972-1972, Strategic Air Command (SAC)
  1972-1972, 307th Strategic Wing
  1972-1972, 22nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1953-1953 Korean War
  1972-1972 Operation Arc Light1
  1972-1972 Vietnam Cease-fire Campaign (1972-73)/Operation Linebacker II
 Colleges Attended 
Texas A&M University
  1950-1953, Texas A&M University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-52 Stratofortress (Buff)  
  1972-1972, B-52 Stratofortress (Buff)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Donald Arrington Joyner was the Radar Navigator of a B-52D returning from a mission over North Vietnam. With injured crewmembers on board, the pilot elected to attempt a landing at U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield. The aircraft crashed after attempting to go-around with engines out and other combat damage. There were only two survivors, the co-pilot and gunner (of the six crewmembers). Ironically, the co-pilot was later killed on 9/11/2001 when the plane crashed into the Pentagon.

Other members of the crew can be viewed at

Lt. Col Joyner also attended North Carolina State prior to Texas A&M. He earned a Masters Degree at the University of Southern California.

Additional Information from

Major Command: SAC
Air Wing: 307th Strat Wing
Squadron: 22nd Bomb Wg (TDY)

US Air Force LtCol Donald Arrington Joyner, Korean War Veteran, Vietnam War Veteran, Native of Henderson, Vance County, NC.

US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Donald Arrington Joyner was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Air Force, LTC Joyner served our country until December 27th, 1972 in Utapao, Thailand. He was 41 years old and was married. Donald died when his plane crashed. His body was recovered. Donald was born on November 22nd, 1931 in Smithfield, North Carolina. LTC Joyner is on panel 01W, line 106 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

I never knew Col. Joyner, but I knew his family. He left behind four wonderful children and a widow. They are all remarkable people and have had successful lives despite his tragic loss, but it would have been so much better if they could have done it together. I'm sure he would be enormously proud of them. May God bless them and keep them always.

He served and died with my father. Long ago but never forgotten. My father always said he was so very privilged to have served with the men he did in his career. We lost so many wonderful fathers, husbands, friends. We remember you today and all days for your sacrifice. Linda Marshall Rideout, 4900 Guld Boulevard St, Pete Beach, FL, 33706, Daughter of Maj Lawrence J Marshall,

For more information, go to web site: history_GuamMemorial.htm

LtCol Joyner Dies in Thailand in Crash of Plane: A former resident of the Epsom community near Henderson, US Air Force LtCol Donald Arrington Joyner, 41 has been killed in the crash of his plane at Utapao Air Force Base, Thailand, as the damaged aircraft was attempting to land following a bombing mission over Vietnam, according to information received here today. The fatal crash was said to have occurred on December 27th in Thailand, but yesterday in the Eastern Standard Time Zone. Relatives here have been advised that LtCol Joyner was returning from a mission over Vietnam, where his plane had received severe damage, and was attempting an emergency landing at his Utapao base when the crash occurred.

A veteran of almost 20 years of service, he had joined Air Force in January of 1953, through the aviation cadet program. He had been stationed in Thailand since last April. During his military career, he earned the Bronze Star Medal, The Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. Born on November 22, 1931, in Johnston County, North Carolina, LtCol Joyner was the son of Elbert Augustus & Lillie Arrington Smith Joyner, of Route 1, Henderson. He was married to the former Jean Journigan, daughter of Mr and Mrs S.F.Journigan, also of Route 1, Henderson in the Epsom Community.

He was a graduate of Epsom High School, attended NC State University and later graduated from Texas A&M University. While at Texas, Donald served as the Secretary for Alpha Pi Mu. "The purpose of Alpha Pi Mu is to confer recognition upon students of industrial engineering who have exceptional academic interests and abilities in their field, to encourage whenever possible any movement which will advance the best interest of industrial engineering education, and to further unify the student body of the Industrial Engineering Department in presenting its needs and ideals to the faculty". He also received a Master's Degree from the University of Southern California. In addition to his parents and his widow, who resides at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, the Colonel is survived by three daughters, Miss Jacqueline a Joyner, a student at the University of Massachusetts, and Miss Kimberly Carol Joyner and Patricia Joyner, both of the home; and one son, Daryl Elbert Joyner also of the home in Massachusetts.

He was assigned to the 307th Strategic Wing, TDY to the 22nd Bomber Wing, Strategic Air Command(SAC).

He was awarded The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, The Air Medal with Multiple Oak Leaf Clusters, and The Air Force Commendation Medal.
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