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Passing of Admiral James "Ace" Lyons, USNA '52, USN (Ret)

  • Passing of Admiral James "Ace" Lyons, USNA '52, USN (Ret)

We were informed earlier today, that Admiral James A. Lyons, Jr., USNA '52, USN (Ret); age 91, passed away peacefully at Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton, VA.  Admiral Lyons Served in the U.S. Navy for thirty-six years as a Surface Warfare Officer, including as Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet, Senior US Military Representative to the United Nations, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.  Details of the military funeral service to be conducted at the US Naval Academy Chapel, followed by internment in the US Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD will be published when details are finalized.

This past November 1, 2018, Admiral Lyons informed me of his profound sadness at the loss of his wife of 66 years, Renee, who passed away that morning; my wife and I had first met Renee Lyons 52 years ago.

In January 1967, as a then Navy Lieutenant, I reported for duty to my new Commanding Officer, Cdr James Lyons, USN, as his Weapons Department Head aboard his Ship, the USS Charles S Sperry (DD-697); we deployed to the Middle East during the “Six Day War.”  Over the ensuing years, we maintained our friendship, then Rear Admiral Lyons invited me to meet with him in Washington, when in Charge of the Saudi Naval Expansion Program, to provide him with my experience working with the Saudi Royal Family.  In May 1986, I reported to Admiral Lyons for duty, when he was Commander-in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, as the Commanding Officer, COMUSFACSUBICBAYDET 119, in support of the US Naval Commander Philippines to assist in improving defenses against NPA Terrorists threatening US military personnel.  From May 1986 through September 1988, I regularly traveled from the Philippines to Admiral Lyons Headquarters at Pearl Harbor to report directly to him on the improvement in security.

From August 2009 until this day, Admiral Lyons had been one of the strongest supporters of the Combat Veterans For Congress, and often supported many of the 35 endorsed Combat Veterans For Congress we helped elect to Congress.  He introduced the Combat Veterans For Congress to Flag & General Officer associates, and commented positively on the contents of a number of the 413 Op Eds we transmitted by E-mail to supporters over the last 9 ½.  Admiral Lyons would often comment on the contents of the Op Eds, by E-mailing a “Bravo Zulu, Joe” (Navy translation “Well Done, Joe”).

Admiral Lyons was a true American Patriot, who loved his country, protected & defended the US Constitution, and served his country, in and out of uniform.  Admiral Lyons will be remembered by his classmates, shipmates, fellow Flag Officers, family, and friends with abiding affection and warmth.  I am sincerely saddened at the passing of Admiral Lyons, who was always a strong supporter of the men and women of the US Armed Forces.  We offer our deepest, our most heartfelt sympathy to Admiral Lyons children, Michele, Yvonne, and James, and their extended families, for their great loss.  May the Good Lord Bless Admiral Lyons, and rest his noble soul. 

Very respectfully,


Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62

Capt    USN(Ret)/Former FBI

Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC