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First Name: Alexander

Last Name: Lyle

Birthplace: Gloucester, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Home of Record: MA
Middle Name: Gordon

Date of Birth: 12 November 1889

Date of Death: 15 July 1955

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served: 1915 - 1948
Alexander Gordon Lyle

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Alexander Gordon Lyle

Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War I


Vice Admiral Alexander Gordon Lyle (12 November 1889 - 15 July 1955) was a U.S. Navy officer who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War I. He is one of only two dental officers to have received the medal.

Alexander Gordon Lyle was born on 12 November 1889 in Gloucester, MA. After graduating High School he went to Baltimore College, graduating in 1912 with a degree in Dentistry. He accepted a commission in the Navy as a Lieutenant (Junior Grade) while living in Massachusetts and retired on 1 August 1948 at the rank of Vice Admiral.

Lyle was serving as a dental officer with the 5th Regiment of the U.S. Marine Corps on the French front during World War I. On 23 April 1918, he risked his life to rescue a corporal who had been seriously wounded during heavy shellfire. He saved the corporal's life by treating his wounds using surgical aid and became one of only two dental officers in history to receive the Medal of Honor. At the time of the award the Navy still had two different versions of the Medal of Honor, one for combat operations and one for noncombat operations. For his actions saving the corporal's life, Lyle received the combat version of the Medal, known as the Tiffany Cross.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander (Dental Corps), U.S. Navy.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with the 5th Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps. Under heavy shellfire, on 23 April 1918, on the French Front, Lt. Comdr. Lyle rushed to the assistance of Cpl. Thomas Regan, who was seriously wounded, and administered such effective surgical aid while bombardment was still continuing, as to save the life of Cpl. Regan.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Legion of Merit
Silver Star Medal
Italian War Cross

Vice Admiral Lyle's Medal of Honor can be seen on display at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD.

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral Alexander Gordon Lyle died on 15 July 1955 in Portsmouth, RI, at age 65. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 2, Lot 1114-1.

His wife, Ruth Haire Lyle, was buried with him when she died in 1963.

Honoree ID: 1789   Created by: MHOH




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