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Spads Honor Fallen POW, F-16 Program Founder

F-16 pilots assigned to the 457th Fighter Squadron, 301st Fighter Wing, performed a memorial flyover at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery to honor POW and F-16 program founder, Brigadier General Lyle Cameron on August 7. They flew a "missing man” formation flyover for his remaining family members, friends and those in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Gross)

F-16 pilots assigned to the 457th Fighter Squadron, 301st Fighter Wing, performed a memorial flyover at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery to honor POW and F-16 program founder, Brigadier General Lyle Cameron on August 7. They flew a "missing man” formation flyover for his remaining family members, friends and those in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Gross)

F-16 pilots assigned to the 457th Fighter Squadron, 301st Fighter Wing, performed a memorial flyover at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery to honor POW and F-16 program founder, Brigadier General Lyle Cameron on August 7. They flew a "missing man” formation flyover for his remaining family members, friends and those in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Gross)

F-16 pilots assigned to the 457th Fighter Squadron, 301st Fighter Wing, performed a memorial flyover at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery to honor POW and F-16 program founder, Brigadier General Lyle Cameron on August 7. They flew a "missing man” formation flyover for his remaining family members, friends and those in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Gross)

Airmen from the Dyess Air Force Base Honor Guard prepare a memorial flag for POW and F-16 program founder, Brigadier General Lyle Cameron's wife on August 7 during a funeral ceremony at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery. Before his contributions to the F-16 program, Brig. Gen. Cameron was held captive for 32 months at a prisoner of war camp in Mukden (Shenyang), China. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Gross)

Airmen from the Dyess Air Force Base Honor Guard prepare a memorial flag for POW and F-16 program founder, Brigadier General Lyle Cameron's wife on August 7 during a funeral ceremony at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery. Before his contributions to the F-16 program, Brig. Gen. Cameron was held captive for 32 months at a prisoner of war camp in Mukden (Shenyang), China. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jessica Gross)

A collage of photos shared from Brig. Gen. Lyle Cameron's family spanning from his life. His daughter Stephanie pins on his star during his promotion ceremony to Brig. Gen. on Aug. 1, 1973, and a young Cameron with his Republic F-84 Thunderjet on July 26, 1951. (Courtesy photos)

A collage of photos shared from Brig. Gen. Lyle Cameron's family spanning from his life. His daughter Stephanie pins on his star during his promotion ceremony to Brig. Gen. on Aug. 1, 1973, and a young Cameron with his Republic F-84 Thunderjet on July 26, 1951. (Courtesy photos)

A news paper clip from an October 1952 Nebraska publication documenting the capture of then Second Lt. Lyle Cameron. Cameron’s F-84 aircraft was shot down over North Korea on October 26,1952 where he was held captive for 32 months at a prisoner of war camp in Mukden (Shenyang), China. (Courtesy photo)

A news paper clip from an October 1952 Nebraska publication documenting the capture of then Second Lt. Lyle Cameron. Cameron’s F-84 aircraft was shot down over North Korea on October 26,1952 where he was held captive for 32 months at a prisoner of war camp in Mukden (Shenyang), China. (Courtesy photo)

Two pilots from the 457th Fighter Squadron pause prior to performing a memorial flyover for POW and F-16 program founder, Brigadier General Lyle Cameron on August 7 at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery. The Spads of the 457 FS have been flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon for more than 25 years. (Courtesy photo)

Two pilots from the 457th Fighter Squadron pause prior to performing a memorial flyover for POW and F-16 program founder, Brigadier General Lyle Cameron on August 7 at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery. The Spads of the 457 FS have been flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon for more than 25 years. (Courtesy photo)

This video highlights the memorial ceremony of POW and F-16 Fighting Falcon program founder Brigadier General Lyle Cameron on August 7, 2020 at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery. F-16 pilots assigned to the 457th Fighter Squadron of the 301st Fighter Wing, U.S. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, performed a “Missing Man” formation flyover to pay tribute to Brig. Gen. Cameron and his family and friends in attendance.

DALLAS --

Pilots assigned to the 457th Fighter Squadron, 301st Fighter Wing, performed a memorial flyover at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery to honor POW and F-16 program founder, Brigadier General Lyle Cameron on August 7.


General Cameron served 23 years of Active Duty in the U.S. Air Force as a fighter pilot and left a significant imprint on the U.S. Air Force as it stands today. Early in his career, Cameron’s F-84 aircraft was shot down over North Korea in 1952. Cameron was held captive thirty-two months at a prisoner of war camp in Mukden (Shenyang), China. Cameron’s experience motivated him to continue his service to his country and ultimately led to the development of Air Force Programs in existence today.


For example, Cameron led the effort in significant fighter aircraft flight simulator development in the 1960s. Cameron would then become a key member of the U.S. Air Force Prototype Study Team that resulted in the Air Force’s decision to pursue six prototype aircraft advanced technology demonstration programs. Following the program’s initiation, Cameron served Director of the Prototype Program Office to launch the six prototypes.


One of the six prototypes Cameron initiated was the lightweight General Dynamics fighter YF-16, which progressed into development as the F-16 Air Combat Fighter/Fighting Falcon Weapon System. Cameron efforts would result in him being named as a program founder of the F-16.


Due to his significant contribution concerning the deployment of the F-16, the 457th Fighter Squadron “Spads” answered the call to pay tribute to Brig. Gen. Cameron’s legacy during his memorial service.


“It is important for us to honor those who have paved the way for the rest of us,” said Colonel Allen Duckworth, 301st Fighter Wing commander. “His devotion to duty and his sacrifice for our nation is inspiring.”


In a symbol of honor and tribute for the passing of Cameron, the Spads flew a “Missing Man” formation flyover for his remaining family members, friends and those in attendance at the service.


“The F-16 formation is such a fitting tribute to an officer whose impact on the F-16 program is still felt today,” said Duckworth. “Our wing holds this flyover close to our hearts.”

 

Editor's Note: Requests for memorial or funeral flyovers are routed through the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Office.  Eligibility and information can be found at:   https://www.mortuary.af.mil/About-Us/Honor-Guard/Flyover-Requests/