MORE information has been revealed about the life of a Royal Canadian Air Force gunner whose life was saved by a Witney hero more than 70 years ago.

Ron Dale, of Thorney Leys, pulled the man from the flaming wreckage of a crashed plane in Milton-under-Wychwood in September 1942, saving his life.

Since telling his story to the Witney Gazette, research by this paper and Witney MP Robert Courts has helped uncover more information about the man – Sgt Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon.

Since saving Sgt Lyon's life in 1942, Mr Dale, 91, had not known whether the airman had seen out the end of the Second World War.

But research by Mr Courts' office revealed that this seemed highly likely.

Now, fresh research suggests he went on to live a full life.

The research reveals that Sgt Lyon, who was born in Philadelphia in the United States but travelled to Canada to join the RCAF, completed 56 operations.

He concluded his service with the RCAF in 1950, after which he joined the United States Air Force.

He served in the USAF for a further 22 years, flying as a navigator in strategic bomber command, and later commanding a missile unit.

It is understood that he retired in 1972 after reaching the rank of colonel.

Little is known about his life after leaving the USAF, but it is believed he passed away in 1996 at the age of 76.

Mr Dale said: “It is nice to know that he made it to 76 and that he made a good contribution to the war.

“It’s amazing because I can still remember it very clearly.

"If I hadn’t pulled him out he would have died.”

Mr Dale will meet with Mr Courts later this month to discuss his heroism in 1942 and the history that has been recently uncovered.

On September 16, 1942, Mr Dale was a teenager preparing to leave his family home in Milton-under-Wychwood to go to work at an airfield in Chipping Norton.

His mother, Eva, was seeing him off but as they stood in the garden they saw, overhead, a Wellington bomber suffer a failure in one of its engines.

It crashed less than a quarter of a mile from where they were stood.

Mr Dale immediately sprung into action.

He cleared a wall and darted to the field where the plane had come down.

Four of the five crew aboard the plane, which was completing a non-operational sortie, were killed in the crash.

Sgt Lyon, the plane’s rear gunner, survived, but was badly burned, trapped, and in immediate danger due to the risk of explosion.

Mr Dale freed him from the plane and the pair ran to safety.

Moments later the plane exploded.

Sergeants McCarthy, Ferguson, Ritchie and Arnold were all killed in the crash.