Distinguished Flying Medal GVI, (1002237. Flt Sgt. H. R. Lyle. R.A.F.) 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, War Medal. Flt. Sgt. H. R. Lyle. Royal Air Force. GVF/EF

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Hurricane Rocket Attack Aircraft Pilot’s Distinguished Flying Medal Group awarded to Flight Sergeant (later Pilot Officer) H.R. Lyle, Royal Air Force. He flew operationally with 6 Squadron out of Borgo, flying the Hurricane Mk.IVs equipped with the rocket projectiles, at a period when his squadron was heavily involved in attacking Axis convoys as well as road and rail bridges amongst other targets.

Lyle flew twenty-one sorties in June 1944 and pressed home his attacks at low level with outstanding success, being personally responsible for the destruction of a considerable amount of enemy shipping. During the period between the 2nd and 7th of June 1944, he took part in introducing the new technique of rocket firing at night at very low altitude and displayed magnificent spirit in the manner in which he overcame the difficulties caused by the intense glare of rocket firing at night, and the attendant danger when firing very close to the water. During the five nights cited he flew sorties against enemy shipping, pressing home his attacks at close range and almost on the deck despite heavy flak defences.

Commissioned that same month. He sadly lost his life in an accident on 8th November 1944 when demonstrating rocket attacks to new pilots on the firing range near Torre Canne, Puglia. On his third run he broke too steeply, and the aircraft performed a high-speed stall and flicked over into the edge of the sea. The Squadron Operational Record Book states: ‘It is with the deepest regret that the death of one of the Squadron’s finest pilots is recorded.’

The DFM recommendation was made by Air Vice Marshal Lloyd, Air Officer Commanding Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Force, and was written on 5th July 1944.

Hadley Robert Lyle came from Bearsden, Dunbartonshire the son of Major Norman Yates Lyle.