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Arizona Air Force veteran to be awarded Congressional Gold Medal

(AP Photo/Danica Coto)

PHOENIX — An Arizona veteran of the Air Force will receive a Congressional Gold Medal on Saturday for his service during World War II, according to a recent press release.

Robert Joyner of Apache Junction served as a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol in 1942, before transferring to the Senior Squadron in Indianapolis in June 1945. In September of that year, Joyner was then promoted to Warrant Officer, which he held until he was enlisted in the Air Force.

While in the Air Force, Joyner was an airborne photographer and instructor on B-24 bombers for “active duty airborne photography operations,” the press release said. He served for two and a half years on the Air Force and left as a Non-Commissioned Officer.

According to the press release, Joyner said he initially joined the Air Force because “It was the thing to do back in those days and because I loved airplanes so much. It was my way to contribute to the national war effort.”

After he left the Air Force, Joyner worked in nuclear and chemical industries, returned to Arizona and had eight children with his wife, Verna. Two of their sons, the press release said, also went on to serve in the Air Force.

Joyner will be awarded with the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum in Mesa. Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs and CAP Arizona Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris will present Joyner with his medal.

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