Ralph L. Boyce Sr., 83, an officer of the U.S. Information Agency who retired in 1975 as director of USIA field activities in Japan, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 28 at his home in Fauquier County.

Mr. Boyce was born in Worcester, Mass. Before World War II, he was a newspaper reporter in New Haven, Conn. During the war, he served in the Army Air Forces in the Pacific as a correspondent for military publications. In this capacity, he participated in combat air missions, served aboard a Navy PT boat and took part in the invasion of the island of Leyte in the Philippines led by Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur.

After the war, Mr. Boyce joined the staff of Army Times in Washington. In the 1950s, he was an information officer with the Marshall Plan for the economic rehabilitation of postwar Europe. He was later a communications adviser to the governments of Taiwan, the Philippines and South Vietnam.

He then joined USIA, where he was an information officer in Pakistan and director of field activities in Japan.

Upon retiring from federal service, he moved to Front Royal, where he owned an operated the Cool Harbor Motel and sold real estate for Long and Foster. He sponsored a World War II airplane restoration program.

His wife, Mildred McCabe Boyce, died in 1975.

Survivors include two children, Ralph Jr., who is U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, and Elizabeth Emory of Knoxville, Tenn.; two sisters; a brother; and four grandchildren.