Vice Admiral Alexander G. Lyle, Dental Corps, USN (Retired), (1889-1955)

Alexander Gordon Lyle was born on 12 November 1899 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Baltimore College of Dentistry in Maryland. In April 1915, he was appointed from Massachusetts to the U.S. Navy as a Lieutenant Junior Grade within the Dental Corps. Following training at Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, he served with the Fifth Regiment Marines during World War I. In the Spring of 1918, he was temporarily promoted first to Lieutenant then to Lieutenant Commander. On 23 April 1918, when a Marine was seriously wounded on the French Front, Lyle rushed to administer surgical aid under continual bombardment and saved the Marine's life. For his "extraordinary heroism" on this occasion, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

After the war, Lyle briefly served at Base Hospital Number Two in Paris, France and reported in December 1919 to help fit-out and later serve on board USS Tennessee. In June 1922, his promotion to Lieutenant Commander was made permanent. In October 1925, he was assigned to Naval Training Station, Newport, where he also had a brief tour on board USS California. In May 1927, he returned for shore duty at Naval Training Station, Newport. Reporting overseas in July 1930, Lyle served with the Fourth Regiment Marines in Shanghai, China. He remained in the area and transferred to USS Houston, then flagship of the Asiatic Fleet. In September 1931, Lyle was promoted to Commander. A year later, he was again assigned to the Naval Training Station at Newport. In July 1937, he received orders to the Naval Dispensary at Washington, D.C. While at the Dispensary, he was promoted in July 1939 to Captain.

In March 1940, Lyle served at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, which was followed by a tour at Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island. In March 1943, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and reported as Inspector of Dental Materials at the Medical Supply Depot located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York. That September, Lyle became Inspector of Dental Activities for the Navy at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D.C. In June 1945, he was named Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery for Dentistry with additional duty as Acting Chief of the Dental Division. In April 1947, he became the General Inspector (Dental) in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. During late Summer 1948, he was relieved from active duty and placed on the retired list with the rank of Vice Admiral due to his prior combat duty. Alexander G. Lyle died on 15 July 1955 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

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Photo #: NH 48019

Vice Admiral Alexander G. Lyle, (D.C.), USN

Who was awarded the Medal of Honor for "extraordinary heroism" when he saved the life of Corporal Regan during a battle on the French Front, 23 April 1918.

NHHC Collection

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U.S. Navy Medal of Honor citation of Lieutenant Commander Alexander Gordon Lyle, (D.C.), USN (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 120):

"For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with the Fifth Regiment, United States Marines. Under heavy shellfire, on 23 April 1918, on the French Front, Lieutenant Commander Lyle rushed to the assistance of Corp. Thomas Regan, who was seriously wounded, and administered such effective surgical aid while bombardment was still continuing, as to save the life of Corporal Regan."

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