Interview with Jack Kenneth Lyon


Interview with Jack Kenneth Lyon


Jack Lyon was a navigator/ bomb aimer and a prisoner of war for almost four years. Born in 1918, he was employed with the London Gas Company as a bookkeeper until August 1939 when he transferred to Shell. At the outbreak of the war, Shell closed their London office and Jack enlisted in the RAF on the 5th September. He was attracted to the extra privileges that aircrew received. Initial training commenced in late 1939 and elementary flying training in June 1940. Being unsuccessful with pilot training, Jack completed navigator training at RAF Prestwick, followed by armament training at RAF Manby, and operational training at RAF Kinloss. On completion of training, Jack was awarded his commission and posted to RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Being the only commissioned member of the crew, Jack found the opportunities to socialise restricted. Having only completed a few operations, Jack and his crew had to abandon their stricken aircraft. Separated from his crew, Jack was arrested by a German soldier cycling past who, faced with a long walk, decided the easiest way was for Jack to ride on the crossbar. Stopping at the first house they came to, the soldier arranged for Jack’s wounds to be attended to, and he was given tea and cake. Initially billeted in Stalag Luft 1, before being transferred to Stalag Luft 3 in April 1942, where he remained until early 1945. Douglas Bader was also billeted there, and Jack witnessed the famous incident when Bader inspected the German guards before being transferred. Early in 1945 with the advancing Russian army getting near, Jack participated in what became known as “The Long March”. Following the German surrender, Jack returned home, and following demob, returned to continue his career with Shell.







02:03:03 audio recording


IBCC Digital Archive


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Chris Brockbank, “Interview with Jack Kenneth Lyon,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 24, 2021,

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