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G Willis Tyson


G. Willis Tyson grew up in Manchester, England and came to No 5 BFTS at Riddle Field as General Manager in 1941. In the 1920’s he was a barnstormer in California for three years after his first solo flight in a Curtis “Jenny”. He later opened a flying school and trained Carl Ziler, among other Riddle trainers, before himself becoming a pilot for the Los Angeles-Caliente Air Lines.

Later he became a CAA Inspector in the New York region and in 1939 transferred to the Engineering Department. In 1941 he resigned from the CAA and at that point moved on to Embry-Riddle. His photograph is included in the 5BFTS anniversary book. In 1942 he visited England for six weeks at the invitation of the British Air Ministry. He inspected the training facilities and methods of the RAF.

G. Willis Tyson was fatally wounded on 19th August 1943 when landing at Dale Mabry Field, Tallahassee when his aircraft was clipped by the wing of a landing P.47, pinning him in the cockpit. Tyson had over 5,000 hours in his log book with over eighteen year’s flying experience. His contribution to the British Flying Training School at Riddle Field is recorded in the Embry-Riddle Flypaper shortly after his death as follows:

“Selfless, loyal, and fully gifted with the greatest of all attributes, the ability to make and keep friends by the legion, G. Will Tyson will be missed not only for himself but also for the way of life he represented, because his was the complete existence, happy in its sense of accomplishment.
Throughout this world at War men are paying the supreme sacrifice every moment of every day, paying it without the concrete knowledge or actual proof of their own achievements or contribution to the common cause.
G. Willis Tyson was more fortunate. Every offensive operation carried out by the RAF and the U.S.Army Air Forces is a living, glorious tribute to the foresight, patience and understanding of him and the too few men like him. Peace and victory will come all the sooner because of them.
We here at Embry-Riddle have suffered an incredible, irreplaceable loss. So has aviation. His genius and ability helped to nurse the young sprawling industry into maturity.”



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Units served with

  • 5 British Flying Training School

    5 British Flying Training School

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Associated Place


Event Location Date
Lived in Manchester, UK


Date Contributor Update
01 February 2017 12:29:30 Anne Hughes Changes to media associations

Embry-Riddle Flypaper

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2017 12:25:40 Anne Hughes Changes to media associations

Embry-Riddle Flypaper

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2017 12:24:46 Anne Hughes Changes to media associations

Embry-Riddle Flypaper

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2017 12:19:29 Anne Hughes Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, nationality, role, biography, person associations, unit associations and place associations

Embry- Riddle Flypaper August 1943