European Tour Update: NO LONGER ACCEPTING BOOKINGS

Legends

“Heroes and Legends of World War II”: A Tribute to “The Greatest Generation in Aviation” (and ALL Who Served)
A Tour of Historic Sites and Museums in England and France

featuring the Internationally Famous Duxford Air Show

England and France: July 10 – 23, 2013
England Only Tour: July 10-18, 2013

Lyon Air Museum is sponsoring a “Tour of a Lifetime” international adventure that will appeal to everyone interested in World War II history. In the summer of 2013 we will travel to England and France on a journey of discovery and remembrance. In twelve unforgettable days we will visit historic sites in both countries that played a key role in winning the war in Europe. We will visit the fabulous American Air Museum at Duxford,

The “AirSpace” building at IWM Duxford also presents a wide range of important planes, including a Concorde.

The “AirSpace” building at IWM Duxford also presents a wide range of important planes, including a Concorde.

England (the creation of which was due in large part to Major General William Lyon’s efforts), and witness the awesome Duxford “Flying Legends” Air Show, featuring immaculately restored World War I and II vintage planes in action. We will visit the room where “Ike” Eisenhower and his staff planned the liberation of western Europe, then begin a two-day tour of the places in Normandy where it happened. 

We will walk the tranquil sands of Omaha Beach, once stained with American blood. We will gaze at the sheer cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, which American Rangers climbed to neutralize big guns that could have wreaked havoc on the landing ships. We will visit Sainte-Mère-Église, where American Airborne troops landed in the midst of devastating enemy fire. On a lighter note, we will enjoy the sights and sounds of two of the world’s greatest cities: regal London and “The City of Light,” glorious Paris!

Paris Icons: The Arc d’ Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.

Paris Icons: The Arc d’ Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.

Upgraded, superior rooms in comfortable hotels, three-course gourmet meals, knowledgeable and dedicated tour leaders, and a well-paced schedule make this tour a perfect way for the first-time visitor to experience these historic places, while the experienced traveler will appreciate the opportunity to re-visit familiar sites in an unhurried manner.

In offering this outstanding tour for 2013 we are building on the success of our 2012 “D-Day+68” tour, which was unanimously praised by the participants. Throughout this brochure and highlighted in blue are comments about that tour from some of those intrepid travelers. All live in Southern California, except as noted. Several photos in this brochure were taken by participants on our 2012 tour.

To reserve space on this spectacular tour, download and complete the reservation form and forward it with your $1,000 per-person deposit to Lyon Air Museum, 19300 Ike Jones Road, Santa Ana, CA 92707; Phone: 714-210-4585; Fax:714-210-4588; E-mail: info@lyonairmuseum.org

Click here to download a printable PDF version of the tour brochure and the reservation form.

Happy 90th Birthday General Lyon!

The General

The GeneralMajor General William Lyon, founder of Lyon Air Museum, is a successful businessman, decorated military leader, philanthropist, and a true aviator at heart.  Today we cherish and celebrate his beautiful 90 years of life!

William Lyon was born on March 9, 1923, the second son to Susie Mary and Al Lyon.  Lyon’s introduction to the military got off to a rough start.  In 1929, at the age of 6, he attended military school with his older brother, Leon.  Leon attended military school for eight years, and William left after the first grade.  “My brother received tons of awards and I had a perfect record of not receiving any,” jokes General Lyon.  In high school Lyon was introduced to flying when his friend invited him to take a flying lesson with him.  “That got him hooked,” his friend would later express.

After high school Lyon attended the University of Southern California (USC) and was a part of the Naval ROTC. He hoped to get into Naval Aviation, which required two years of college and 20 years of age.  But a freshman in college and only eighteen years of age, Lyon wanted to work.  So, he left USC to take a part-time job at North American Aviation, serving lunches and dinners to employees.  While working at North American, on December 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.  This attack caused the Navy to lower their age requirements to 18 years for enlistment.  Lyon jumped at the opportunity.  Lyon, among many other young men, waited in long lines to enlist.  During his physical exam a doctor declined his enlistment because he had a deviated septum.  Though disappointed, he did not give up. General Lyon expressed, “My whole being since I was 10 years old, was my interest in flying.”  He convinced his parents to send him to flight school.  He attended Dallas Aviation School in Texas and received his private license and a commercial  rating.The General

Once licensed, he browsed the yellow pages and called the Civil Aviation Authority offices (Now the FAA).   The CAA hired him as a civilian instructor to train military personnel in the Army Air Corps.  There he earned his instructors license and was transferred to Tucson, Arizona ironically to train Naval Air Cadets.  Then on October 9, 1943 Lyon enlisted in the Army Air Corps reserves.  He hoped to become a flying cadet but was not called.

Still a civilian, he decided to enlist in the civil service and went through a program that included instrument training and twin engine training.  He was sent to Nashville, Tennessee for officer training, graduated in May of 1944, and entered the military as a warrant officer.  As a warrant officer he was assigned to deliver aircraft to the South Pacific and European theaters.  His first assignment was to deliver aircraft to Australia.  He flew a B-24 to Hawaii and then island hopped each day until he reached Australia.  Over the next year Lyon would fly an array aircraft, including B-24 Liberators, A-20 Havocs, P-38 Lightnings, and C-47 Sky Trains.  In 1945 he was sent to High Altitude training to fly the C-46 Commando.

After the war, he returned to USC and majored in Commercial Aviation.  Yet he wanted to work and again he left the university to pursue his aviation career.   Now a second lieutenant, he was assigned to the Air Force Reserve unit in Santa Monica, California. He flew AT-6 Texans and Twin Beeches.  The following year he joined the 452nd Bomb Wing in Long Beach.  Shortly thereafter in 1950 he was hired by Frontier Airlines.

In 1951 he was called to active duty, was promoted to Captain, and primarily flew C-47s in the Korean War.  During active duty he completed 75 missions in 90 days.  In doing so he was awarded the Distinguish Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters for his service behind enemy lines.

In 1953 he went to jet training where he flewT-33 Shooting Stars . In 1954 his interests and horizons expanded even further when he entered the home building business.  This was the start of what is today William Lyon Homes.  Lyon spent the next two decades growing and expanding his home building business.

Still a true aviator at heart, in 1974 he left California to serve as Chief of the Air Force Reserve in Washington, DC.  During his service at the Pentagon, the General managed to reform and professionalize the Air Force Reserve.  In 1979 he retired as a Major General.  Again his passion for aviation did not keep him away from the industry for long.  In 1981 he and a partner purchased AirCal Airlines.  Several years later in 1987 he sold AirCal to American Airlines and  was invited to serve on their Board.

His passion for aviation and motivation to educate the community about aviation, in particular The Greatest Generation in Aviation, brought General Lyon to build and open Lyon Air Museum in December 2009.  Today, Lyon Air Museum is part of the Newport Mesa School District 6th grade curriculum.  Over 2,000 6th grade students each school year visit Lyon Air Museum for “The Greatest Generation – A WWII Field Trip Experience.”  Lyon Air Museum Salutes General Lyon and wishes him a Happy 90th Birthday!

Lyon Air Museum To Recognize The 70th Anniversary Of The WWII History-Making Doolittle Raid During Event On April 21

B-25 MitchellSANTA ANA, Calif., March 22, 2012 – The Doolittle Raid comes to life on Saturday, April 21 at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport when Lyon Air Museum’s B-25 bomber “Guardian of Freedom” roars into the air at noon as part of a program about the famous World War II bombing mission.  The event begins at 10:30 AM with a presentation and book signing by author Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, the granddaughter of the famous Doolittle Raid leader, Jimmy Doolittle.

70 years ago, on April 18, 1942, eighty men and sixteen North American B-25 bombers launched off the USS Hornet aircraft carrier, on an ambitious one-way mission to bomb Tokyo and other targets in Japan.  The perilous assignment, flown by members of the US Army Air Force and supported by the US Navy, was lead by then Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle.  In honor of the 70th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, Lyon Air Museum has scheduled a flight of its own B-25 Mitchell bomber – “Guardian of Freedom,” weather and mechanical considerations permitting.

In addition to the B-25 flight, Lyon Air Museum welcomes guest speaker, Jonna Doolittle Hoppes.  As the granddaughter of General Jimmy Doolittle, she will share with museum visitors her grandfather’s heroic story and will sign copies of her book, “Calculated Risk,” a biography/memoir.  As a writer, her lecture series keeps her busy touring the United States and Europe, especially with the recent release of another book titled “Just Doing My Job,” a collection of 19 stories from World War II, which will be available as well.  Jonna works for the Department of Defense at Los Angeles Air Force Base and has appeared on numerous television programs, including the History Channel.

Lyon Air Museum represents the fulfillment of a dream of founder General William Lyon. He held the position of Chief of the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1975 to 1979 and is currently Chairman of the Board and CEO of William Lyon Homes, Inc., Newport Beach, Calif.  His passion for aviation history and youth education is the driving force behind Lyon Air Museum.  In establishing the museum, General Lyon sought to create a world-class facility that would be available to the local community and would offer educational displays to inspire young people.  The museum has on exhibit some of the world’s rarest operational historic aircraft and vehicles.

Lyon Air Museum is located at 19300 Ike Jones Road, Santa Ana, CA  92707.

P: 714/210-4585. F: 714/210-4588.

Email: info@lyonairmuseum.org.  Web: www.lyonairmuseum.org.

Hours of operation are daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission rates: General admission–$12; Seniors and Veterans–$9; Ages 5-17–$6; Under age 5—Free. Groups of 10 or more–$1 off each visitor.  Pre-arranged school groups—Free. Please call for event pre-sale tickets.

Media Contact:

Corrin Quezada

Lyon Air Museum

714/210-4585