Retired April 13, 1978.
Major General William Lyon is chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C., and commander, Headquarters Air Force Reserve, a separate operating agency located at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. As chief of Air Force Reserve, General Lyon serves as the principal adviser on Reserve matters to the Air Force Chief of Staff. As commander of AFRES, he has full responsibility for the supervision of U.S. Air Force Reserve units around the world.
General Lyon was born in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1923. Prior to entering the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943, he attended the University of Southern California, and the Dallas Aviation School and Air College. He completed Air War College in 1971 and the Air War College; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Senior Officers Orientation Course in 1972 and 1974. Additionally, he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces National Seminar in 1973.
General Lyon enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a reservist in 1943 and continued serving as a civilian flight instructor until he received a direct appointment as a flight officer in June 1944. During World War II, he was assigned to the 6th Ferrying Group and ferried aircraft to the Pacific and European theaters. In 1945 he was assigned to the North African Division of the Air Transport Command, returning to the United States in 1946.
In 1947 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and participated in various Reserve assignments until his voluntary recall to active duty in 1951. He was then assigned to Headquarters Air Training Command as a staff pilot and was later transferred to the Military Air Transport Service, flying air evacuation and ferrying missions. In 1953 he volunteered for a tour of duty in Korea and flew 75 combat missions in the C-46 and C-47.
From 1954 to 1963, General Lyon was assigned to various positions in the Reserve and served as a flight commander and operations officer. In 1963 he was named commander of the 929th Tactical Airlift Squadron, March Air Force Base, Calif., and subsequently served as commander of the parent unit, the 943d Tactical Airlift Group.
General Lyon was assigned as mobilization assistant to the commander, Sacramento Air Materiel Area, McClellan Air Force Base, Calif., in June 1970, and in February 1972, he became mobilization assistant to the commander, Fifteenth Air Force at March Air Force Base. In March 1974 he was appointed mobilization assistant to the commander in chief, Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., where he was involved in the planning of the transfer of designated KC-135 units to the Reserve Forces.
In April 1975 General Lyon was ordered to active duty to serve as chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
He is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with hour glass device, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
He was promoted to the grade of major general on April 24, 1974, with date of rank May 24, 1972.