AA2219 (Al-6%Cu) was butt welded in T87 temper (solution heat-treated, cold worked and precipitation hardened) and T6 temper (solution heat-treated and precipitation hardened) using electron beam welding (EBW). Variables studied were base metal temper condition and mode of EBW. Mechanical properties of the weld joint and fracture toughness at fusion zone (FZ) and heat-affected zone (HAZ) were evaluated and compared with those of the base metal. Results showed that EB welds have higher joint efficiency and fracture toughness than that of gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). Fracture toughness of T6 base metal was found to be higher than its T87 counterpart. When welded, FZ and HAZ in T87 showed higher fracture toughness than that of T6; HAZ was the toughest. Pulsed current (PC) EB weld showed marginal reduction in toughness compared to constant current (CC) weld. Toughness variation is analyzed with the help of tensile test, Charpy impact test and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.