Arkansas
Military Veterans'
Hall of Fame

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Arkansas
Military Veterans'
Hall of Fame

Lewis E. Lyle | Arkansas Military Veterans' Hall of Fame

Lewis E. Lyle

Major General Lewis E. Lyle, United States Air Force, deceased.  A native of Pine Bluff General Lyle began his military flying career as a B-17 pilot in the European Theater during World War II.  It was during WWII when he earned numerous awards including the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star (2 oak leaf clusters), Legion of Merit (1 oak leaf cluster), and the Distinguished Flying Cross (3 oak leaf clusters).  In 1967 General Lyle retired after completing over 26 years of service.

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. 

On July 22, 1944  the Distinguished Service Cross was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) Lewis Elton Lyle, 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 Lyle in front of B-47.

General Shuler and General Lyle 22 April 1995.

Lew and Betty Lyle at the 8th AFHS reunion.

General Lyle in front of B-47.

General Shuler and General Lyle 22 April 1995.

Lew and Betty Lyle at the 8th AFHS reunion.

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