Canadian Aviatrix #51 – Joyce Bond (1912-1999)

Joyce Regina Bond was born on 11 May 1912 in Regina, Saskatchewan, to David Franklin Bond (chief dispatcher for the Canadian Pacific Railway) and Grace Kennedy Hunter.

1916 census

1921 census

1926 census

Regina SK

Regina SK

Regina SK

David

31

38

41

Grace

28

35

38

Joyce

4

9

14

David

-

-

3

Plus:

Jessie & Pearl Hunter

Jessie Hunter

-

 

Grace’s younger sisters lived with the family and, in 1920, the family hosted Pearl’s wedding, where Joyce was the flower girl.

Joyce attended Connaught School and when she was 13 years old, she won second place in a national essay contest – writing about heroism. In 1932, she flew over Regina, as a passenger, and dropped free tickets to a play with coloured streamers attached.

In 1936, Joyce was a stenographer and the only woman to enroll in the Regina Flying Club’s ground school course at the  Balfour Technical school. She achieved the highest marks in her class. There were five women flying out of Regina at that time, so they became known as “the flying quintuplets” – Joyce, plus Alice Blake, Lillian McNeil, Enid Spencer and Doris Davis.

Joyce’s flying training was put on hold while she recovered from appendicitis, but on 8 December 1936, Joyce passed her flying test and received PPL #2092, making her the 51st female pilot in Canada. She was 24 years old.

Canadian Aviatrix #51 – Joyce Bond (1912-1999)

Photo: The Leader Post (March 26, 1943)

In 1937, Joyce became the first woman in Regina to make a parachute jump. Although not reported until much later, she actually landed in an asparagus field and suffered a broken shoulder and ribs. In 1938, she visited Vancouver, took Aerobatic instruction at the BC Aero Club and joined the Flying Seven.

During the war, Joyce was rejected from the RCAF and the Chinese Air Force, so she moved to Hamilton to take an office job at the Cub factory. She was able to do some aircraft ferrying and dropped war bond pamphlets from the sky until civil aviation was stopped.

Joyce returned to Regina after the war and gave up her ambitions of an aviation career – she knew she wouldn’t get a job with all the returning male pilots. She continued to be part of the Regina Flying Club until she moved to California in 1953. She was Executive Secretary to the President of Syntex Laboratories.

Joyce died in 1999, aged 86.

The First 100 Canadian Women Pilots