Dickinson County

John Ross Lyon/s



John Lyons Reported Missing
Supposedly in Pacific Navy Action

John Lyons, 25, son of Mrs. Elsie Lyons, is the first Spirit Lake youth to be reported missing in action in the U. S. Navy in the present conflict, word reaching his mother Wednesday morning in the form of a telegram from the Navy Department. The family has been asked to divulge no information regarding his ship or his whereabouts if known. The part of the telegram available for publication stated “the Navy Department deeply regrets to inform you that your son, John Lyons, Boatswain Mate 2nd Class, U. S. Navy is missing in action following action in performance of duty and in the service of his country.”

John enlisted in the U. S. Navy in June 1934, less than a month after his graduation from the Spirit Lake high school where he was a popular football player. Since his enlistment he has served continuously in the Navy, having completed eight years of service in June this year, and then starting his ninth year of service. He was a boatswains mate and master of gunnery.

The first years of his enlistment were served on the U. S. S. California, flagship of the Navy fleet.

In April 1942, Mrs. Lyons had word from him that his boat had been lost in the Atlantic and he was confined for several weeks in a navy hospital in New York. When he was able to return to active duty he was transferred to the west coast, from where he has since seen action. The last word received from him was about two weeks ago, when he wrote from the Naval base at San Diego, Calif.

The many friends of Mrs. Lyons sympathize with her and her daughters, Mrs. Leslie Cline of Omaha and Miss Velma Lyons of Spirit Lake in their receipt of this sad message, but can only hope that further good word will later be received. Consolation at this time comes to the mother, like many other mothers today, that her son has served his country faithfully and well.

Source: The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Thursday, September 17, 1942, Page 1

Letter From Son And Wire From Navy Bring Good News

Mrs. Elsie Lyon was Spirit Lake’s happiest mother Sunday when she received a letter from her son, John Lyon, reported missing in action in Navy duty Sept. 16. The letter, dated Sept. 21, five days after she received her message from the government, was written by her son at San Diego, Calif., and he apparently did not know of the message his mother had received or the anxiety over his whereabouts.

A telegram from Rear Admiral Randall Jacobsen, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, was received by Mrs. Lyon Wednesday morning stating her son was a survivor, further verifying his safety.

The following is the message received by Mrs. Lyon Wednesday:

“The navy department is glad to inform you that your son, John Ross Lyon, Boatswain’s Mate second class, U. S. Navy, previously reported missing following action in performance of his duty, is now reported to be a survivor. He will doubtedly communicate directly with you informing you as to his welfare and whereabouts. The anxiety caused you at the previous message is deeply regretted.” Rear Admiral Randall Jacobsen, Chief of Bureau of Navigation.

Mrs. Lyon has written her son of the previous message she had received, also sending him a copy of the Beacon containing the story of his being “missing in action.” Mrs. Lyon has been the recipient of many expressions of sympathy and kindness in her recent anxiety, and wishes to take this means of thanking her many friends for their thoughtfulness, and is happy to be able to inform her friends of her son’s safety.

Source: The Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Thursday, October 1, 1942, Page 7


John Lyon, boatswain’s mate, Second Class, U. S. Navy, reported missing in action, has written his mother, Mrs. Elsie Lyon of Spirit Lake, from a west coast port that he is safe and well. She had been notified by the Navy Department that her son was missing in action Sept. 16. The letter was written Sept. 21. She has subsequently received a second telegram from the Navy, stating her son was a survivor of the naval action reported.

Source: Estherville Daily News, October 3, 1942