HomeCar CultureLifestyleAviator, museum founder William Lyon dies

Aviator, museum founder William Lyon dies

He was a Major General in the Air Force, then built post-war homes for returning military personal


William Lyons

William Lyon, a major general in the U.S. Air Force and founder of a museum that displayed vintage aircraft and rare automobiles, died May 22. He was 97. The Lyon Air Museum said he passed peacefully at his home.

Lyon flew combat missions in World War II and Korea, and he was chief of the Air Force Reserve in the late 1970s. After the Korean conflict, he launched a business to build more than 75,000 homes for returning military personnel and others moving into California.  In the 1980s, he became a partner in the purchase of Air Cal, a regional airline which merged with American Airlines. 

He then purchased Martin Aviation, based at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, where he also established the Lyon Air Museum

The Major General

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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