Retired May 1, 1975.
Maj. Gen.l Herbert A. Lyon commands the Space and Missile Test Center, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. SAMTEC manages the research and development launches of military space and ballistic missile systems and operates the Department of Defense Western Test Range.
General Lyon was born in St. Paul, Minn., in 1921. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1948 with a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering and received his master's degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1952. He received a master of science degree in business administration from The George Washington University in 1966.
General Lyon entered military service at St. Paul, Minn., in March 1942, and completed aviation cadet training in February 1943. He then was assigned to the Troop Carrier Command and in 1944 was assigned to the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations. He flew C-46 aircraft in campaigns from New Guinea to the Philippines and Okinawa. He participated in the Japanese occupation as commander of the 5th Combat Cargo Squadron. He was relieved from active duty in February 1946 and returned to active duty in November 1948.
In January 1949 General Lyon was assigned to the Air Proving Ground Command, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., first as transport aircraft project officer and later as deputy chief of tactical systems test responsible for the operational suitability testing of tactical warfare systems including aircraft, armament and electronics. In July 1957 he graduated from the Army Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and was assigned to the Arnold Engineering Development Center where he did advanced planning for aeronautical and space systems test facilities.
General Lyon was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in July 1960 in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Development, where he had responsibility for the Air Force technical facility military construction program.
In October 1962 General Lyon was reassigned to the Research and Technology Division, Air Force Systems Command, at Bolling Air Force Base, D.C., where he became director of the Facilities Plans and Requirements Office; and later was chief of the Mechanics Office responsible for propulsion, flight dynamics and weapons technology. From August 1964 to August 1965, General Lyon attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C.
In August 1965 he was transferred to Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Science and Technology, where he became the director for plans and policy.
General Lyon was transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in June 1967, as commander of the Air Force Aero Propulsion Laboratory where he was responsible for advanced propulsion technology and development of propulsion and power subsystem components for aircraft, missiles and spacecraft. In July 1970 General Lyon was transferred to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., where he served as assistant deputy chief of staff, systems, at Headquarters Air Force Systems Command.
In August 1971 he was reassigned to the Space and Missile Systems Organization, at Norton Air Force Base, Calif., as deputy for reentry systems and was named vice commander in November 1972. He became commander of the Space and Missile Test Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in March 1974.
He is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of the Dayton Laboratories Branch of the Research and Engineering Society of America. General Lyon has been elected a member of Tau Beta Pi, Tau Omega and Gamma Alpha Rho honorary engineering societies.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Air Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He is a command pilot with 5,000 hours flying time.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective April 2, 1973, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1969.