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V. JOHN LYLE
V. John Lyle, Colonel USAF (retired), seasoned combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War, passed away from the complications of a stroke on Friday, June 7, 2013 in Warrenton, Virginia surrounded by family and close friends. John was born November 27, 1921 in Barrington, Illinois to the late Algernon and Henrietta Lyle and was one of seven children. During World War II, Lyle flew 100 missions over North Africa and Europe as a navigator and nose gunner in 12th Air Force B-24 and B-25 bombers. At the close of the war, John joined the 57th Fighter Group becoming one of the Nation's first jet fighter pilots. In 1948, he served six months in Palestine on the front lines of the war there that resulted in the creation of the state of Israel. He then served as a military aid to the White House before reporting to the 51st Fighter Interceptor Group where he served as a Deputy Wing Commander in Seoul. He flew the F-86 Sabre in 100 missions over Korea between 1952-53. He was shot down in his final mission and was rescued in the Yellow Sea. Before retiring from the Air Force in 1966, John served as the US Air Attache in Peru and Bolivia and spoke fluent Spanish throughout his life. His military service awards include a Purple Heart, several Air medals (with clusters) and the Distinguished Flying Cross (with clusters) as well as a Commendation for Bravery from the Royal Air Force for his outstanding service.As a civilian, John served as a director at NASA during the Lunar Landing years, 1967-72. Colonel Lyle established his permanent residence in Rappahannock County Virginia in 1966 and over time established a 1,700 plus acre cattle ranch. He also founded Federal Testing Laboratories; all of his endeavors were great successes, a testament to his hard work and keen intellect. John had an eye for the beautiful views of Rappahannock and great love of his land in Virginia. In precious free time, he loved to play polo and enjoyed foxhunting and the friends he made in these pursuits. Indeed, he devoted his civilian life to the land and his friends here. In later years, he became a Florida resident where he made some additional friends and more plans for his summer months in Virginia. Colonel Lyle is survived by his three children: Victoria Lyle Davis of Astoria, Oregon; Cynthia Lyle of Liederbach, Germany and Mark Lyle of Jeetze, Germany; his sister Laura Lyle Woods of Holiday, Florida; and grandchildren Javier, Michelle, and Nicklas. He is also survived by his dearest and closest friends, Jack Hearsey and Sue Bromley of Warrenton, VA. A celebration of this great patriot and local hero will be held this fall in Rappahannock County. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fauquier SPCA, Box 733, Warrenton, VA 20188. Online condolences as well as registration to receive information regarding the memorial service can be made under: firstname.lastname@example.org@gmx.org
Published in The Washington Post on July 7, 2013