Legacy Page




Legacy Of:

Lewis  E  Lyle


Personal Legacy


23 May 38 Graduated Ouachita College, Arkadelphia, Arkansas. ROTC 2nd Lt Commission Army Reserves

23 Dec 40 Called to active duty - U.S. Army, 153rd Infantry

02 May 41 Resigned his Commission as 1st Lt. - Enlisted in USAAF as a Flying Cadet

12 Dec 41 Graduated Brook Field, TX. 2nd Lt. Pilot (Class 41-1)

February 42 Assigned 36Oth BS/303rd BG(H) Gowen Field, Boise, ID as a B-17 Pilot


20 Oct 42 Captain Lyle Crew arrived Molesworth, England in B-17 "Ooold Soljer"

17 Nov 42 Flew on first 303rd BG(H) mission to St. Nazaire, France

10 Dec 42 Flew General Eaker and Staff to attend the top secret Casablanca Conference in North Africa. Commendation from General Eaker for flying excellence

31 Dec 42 Appointed 360th BS Commanding Officer

27 Jan 43 Led 303rd BG(H) to Wilhelmshaven. First 8th AF mission to Germany

31 Mar 43 "Ooold Soljer" lost after midair collision with 358th BS B-17. Five men from original Lyle crew KIA. First flight of this B-17 without Lyle at controls.

04 Apr 43 Promoted to Major

14 May 43 Flew mission with 351st BG(H). Indoctrinated this new Group's Commanding Officer to combat.

20 Jun 43 To 303rd BG(H) Headquarters as Air Executive Officer. Helped develop lead crew concept

13 Jun 43 Completed his 25 mission tour. Volunteered for another tour.

17 Aug 43 Led 303rd composite Group to Schweinfurt, Germany. First 8th AF pilot to complete 30 missions.

25 Sep 43 Promoted to Lt. Colonel.

06 Jun 44 Flew "D-Day" mission and three other June & July missions as a Bombardier. Goal: Improve bombing accuracy and Pilot-Bombardier coordination.

15 Jun 44 Awarded Distinguished Service Cross for outstanding heroism and leadership.

29 Jun 44 TDY 15th Air Force in Italy. .Flew three combat missions with 2nd BG. Goal: Demonstrate and teach improved bombing techniques and results.

01 Sep 44 Appointed temporary Commanding Officer 303rd BG(H).

19 Sep 44 Completed 2nd combat tour. Volunteered for his third tour.

06 Oct 44 Last combat mission with 303rd BG. His 57th credited mIssion

10 Oct 44 Appointed Commanding Officer 379th BG)H). Flew 12 missions with 379th

19 Jan 45 Promoted to Colonel

03 Feb 45 8th AF Commander of I ,003 B-17's on 8th AF's most destructive Berlin, Germany bombing.

06 May 45 Appointed Commanding Officer 41 st Combat Wing after having flown 70+ combat missions - Flew more combat missions than any other 8th AF Bombardment Group Commander.


<> Commanding Officer B-29 Training Wing. McCook AFB, NE;
<> Air Command & Staff College, Navy War College, Air University - Personnel & Administration, Univ Calif- Psychology
<> Director, USAF Human Resources Research Institute, Maxwell AFB, AL;
<> 1950- Commanding Officer 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (B-29's & R8-45's) Barksdale AFB, LA <> 1950- Base Commander, Lockbourne AFB, OH
<> 1953- Attended Air War College;
<> 1954- Chief of Staff, 5th Air Division, French Morroco;
<> 1955 -Director, Plans Division, Headquarters, Strategic Air Command, Omaha, NE;
<> 1958- Commanding Officer, 4th Air Division, Barksfdale AFB, LA
<> 1960- Chief of Staff, 2nd Air Force, Barksdale AFB, LA;
<> 1962- Commanding General, 818th Air Division (B-47's), Lincoln AFB, NE;
<> 1964- Commanding General, ICBM Division, Warren AFB, Cheyenne, WY;
<> 1966- Director of Maintenance and Engineering. Air Force Logistics Command, Dayton, OH;
Retired as Major General (I July 1967). Command Pilot & Senior Missileer. 7,052 flying Hours


Distinguished Service Cross,
Distinguished Service Medal,
Silver Star (2 clusters),
Legion of Merit,
Distinguished Flying Cross (3 clusters),
Bronze Star,
Air Medal (9 clusters),
Presidential Unit Citation,
British DFC,
French Croix de Guerre


1967 -Senior Vice President Operations, Northeast Airlines, Boston, MA;
1969- President, Airlines Operations Association;
1970- Executive Vice President and General Manager, Northeast Airlines;
1972- Managing Director, Lyford Cay Properties - Bahamas; Consultant, Bahamian Airline,
1975- President, Blue J Industries -Hot Springs, AR


Board of Directors and Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary;
President Hot Springs Real Estate Board;
Member Governor's Commission for the National Parks;
Actively worked since 1984 to build a home for the 8th Air Force.
President of the Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum;
Distinguished Alumna Ouachita University;
Member Arkansas Aviation Halt of Fame;
M/Gen Lewis E. Lyle Conference Room. 303rd BG(H) "Might in Flight" Building, JAC-USEUCOM, RAF Molesworth, U.K.
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Last modified: 01/26/14