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Lewis E. Lyle

Date of death: April 6, 2008
Place of Birth: Arkansas, Pine Bluff
Home of record: Pine Bluff Arkansas

Lewis Lyle began his military career as an infantry lieutenant in 1938, entering active duty in 1940 in an anti-tank company. He was selected to become an aviation cadet in 1941 and received his pilot wings in December of that year. He logged more than 6,500 hours flying time and among his decorations are the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with two clusters, two Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with three clusters, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal with nine clusters, the British Distinguished Flying Cross and the French Croix De Guerre. He retired in 1967 as a U.S. Air Force Major General.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) Lewis E. Lyle (AFSN: 4115A/ASN: 0-364559), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a B-17 Heavy Bomber in the 360th Bombardment Squadron, 303d Bombardment Group (H), EIGHTH Air Force, while participating in bombing missions from 17 November 1942 through 15 June 1944. During this period Lieutenant Colonel Lyle has served as Pilot of a heavy bomber on forty-six combat missions against the enemy over Continental Europe. He has voluntarily flown on many dangerous missions since completing his normal tour of operations, leading bombing formations against well-defended targets in France, Germany, and Poland. Upon one occasion, while leading a group on a deep and extremely hazardous penetration to the heart of Germany, Lieutenant Colonel Lyle's airplane had one engine shot out and suffered other damage. Displaying gallant leadership and exceptional flying skill, Lieutenant Colonel Lyle continued on to bomb his target. Neither adverse weather nor enemy resistance has ever deterred Lieutenant Colonel Lyle from completing an assigned mission. The heroism, brilliant leadership, and unflinching determination to inflict damage upon the enemy, regardless of the dangers involved, displayed by Lieutenant Colonel Lyle uphold the highest traditions of the Armed Forces of the United States.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe, General Orders No. 44 (July 22, 1944)

Action Date: November 17, 1942 - June 15, 1944

Service: Army Air Forces

Battalion: 360th Bombardment Squadron

Regiment: 303d Bombardment Group (H)

Division: 8th Air Force

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) Lewis E. Lyle (AFSN: 4115A/ASN: 0-364559), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy while serving with the EIGHTH Air Force in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: Headquarters, 8th Air Force, General Orders No. 155 (1943)

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army Air Forces

Division: 8th Air Force

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) Lewis E. Lyle (AFSN: 4115A/ASN: 0-364559), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy while serving with the EIGHTH Air Force in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: Headquarters, 8th Air Force, General Orders No. 449 (1944)

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army Air Forces

Division: 8th Air Force

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) Lewis E. Lyle (AFSN: 4115A/ASN: 0-364559), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy while serving with the EIGHTH Air Force in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: Headquarters, 8th Air Force, General Orders No. 486 (1944)

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army Air Forces

Division: 8th Air Force

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Awarded for actions during the Cold War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Colonel Lewis E. Lyle (AFSN: 4115A/ASN: 0-364559), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States from 1 August 1956 to 1 July 1958 as Deputy Director of Plans, Headquarters Strategic Air Command. During this period, the knowledge, skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Colonel Lyle were material factors in effecting early implementation of the Strategic Air Command alert force. Colonel Lyle's planning and enthusiastic approach during the service test of this new concept, and the development of a new support organization, proved that the alert force was feasible within practical manpower limits. The superior initiative, personal endeavor, and outstanding organizational ability displayed by Colonel Lyle reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, General Orders No. 52 (September 18, 1958)

Action Date: August 1, 1956 - July 1, 1958

Service: Air Force

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Awarded for actions during the Cold War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit to Brigadier General Lewis E. Lyle (AFSN: 4115A/ASN: 0-364559), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Chief of Staff, SECOND Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, during the period 21 August 1959 to 22 June 1962. In this important assignment, Brigadier General Lyle effected the resolution of many complex problems of vital importance to the Strategic Air Command. His extraordinary sense of duty and professional competence reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: August 21, 1959 - June 22, 1962

Service: Air Force

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Major (Air Corps) Lewis E. Lyle (AFSN: 4115A/ASN: 0-364559), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving with the 303d Bombardment Group, EIGHTH Air Force, as Pilot of a B-17 airplane on twenty-five bombardment missions over enemy occupied Continental Europe. Displaying great courage and skill, Major Lyle has materially aided in the success of each of the twenty-five missions, and his actions are an inspiring example for his fellow flyers. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by Major Lyle on all these occasions reflect the highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

General Orders: Headquarters, 8th Air Force, General Orders No. 77 (June 19, 1943)

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army Air Forces

Regiment: 303d Bombardment Group (H)

Division: 8th Air Force

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) Lewis E. Lyle (AFSN: 4115A/ASN: 0-364559), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving as Air Commander of a Combat Wing of the EIGHTH Air Force on a heavy bombardment mission over enemy territory, 20 March 1944. In spite of weather which was adverse at the take-off and grew progressively worse, he assembled his wing without delay or incident and led the formation through increasingly thick cloud cover over the continent. The extent of visibility was negligible and other wings turned back, but Colonel Lyle, demonstrating the highest degree of proficiency and courage in the face of these almost insurmountable obstacles, continued on to successfully bomb the target and return to friendly territory through the thick overcast. The aggressiveness, skill and superb airmanship displayed by Colonel Lyle on this occasion exemplifies the highest tradition of the Army Air Forces and has been an inspiration to all serving with him.

General Orders: Headquarters, 8th Air Force, General Orders No. 376 (May 17, 1944)

Action Date: March 20, 1944

Service: Army Air Forces

Division: 8th Air Force

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) Lewis E. Lyle (AFSN: 4115A/ASN: 0-364559), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving as Pilot of a B-17 airplane on a number of combat bombardment missions over Germany and German occupied countries from 31 December 1943 to 19 September 1944.

General Orders: Headquarters, 1st Bomb Division, General Orders No. 358 (September 24, 1944)

Action Date: December 31, 1943 - September 19, 1944

Service: Army Air Forces

Regiment: 303d Bombardment Group (H)

Division: 8th Air Force

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Colonel (Air Corps) Lewis E. Lyle (AFSN: 4115A/ASN: 0-364559), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving as Air Commander of a Bombardment Division composed of B-17 aircraft on a bombing mission over Germany, 3 February 1945. On this date Colonel Lyle exhibited consummate flying ability and inspiring leadership. Although he was forced to transfer to another airplane on the takeoff, the formation which Colonel Lyle was commanding formed on the lead aircraft before reaching the first turning point. Upon arrival at the coast of the Continent, he evinced the utmost skill in completing the flight to target as scheduled in the face of an almost complete undercast. All rendezvous and control points were effected in accordance with the designated flight plan and the entire course to the objective was accomplished as briefed under the capable direction of Colonel Lyle. In the vicinity of the objective he ascertained that target conditions were favorable for visual bombing. Despite intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire Colonel Lyle ably initiated a long, steady run through the concentrated barrage without employing evasive tactics in order to attain the highest degree of success. He determinedly led the formation directly to the important enemy installations. Bombs were released with accuracy and vast destruction was inflicted throughout the target area. The outstanding proficiency and unfailing initiative evinced by Colonel Lyle were in large measure responsible for the results achieved on this occasion. The unusual courage and singular airmanship displayed by this office reflect the highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

General Orders: Headquarters, 1st Bomb Division, General Orders No. 138 (February 14, 1945)

Action Date: February 3, 1945

Service: Army Air Forces

Division: 8th Air Force