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Edward F. Lyons, Jr. papers

 Collection
Identifier: M014

Scope and Content Note

The Edward F. Lyons, Jr. collection covers the years 1917-59 and includes some undated material. The collection focuses on EFL's Army career with the bulk of materials relating to his World War II experiences, 1943-46. EFL's papers include explanatory notes written by his wife Mary.

EFL's assignment in Germany is represented in the collection by memorabilia, one personal notebook, photographs, and propaganda literature. The personal notebook describes EFL's involvement with the Borkum Island trial and his impressions of Germany and the German people. The photographs are snapshots (probably taken by EFL) of bomb damage in Germany. The propaganda literature is both German and American.

EFL's records of the Oklahoma prisoner of war camp contain memorabilia, eleven personal notebooks, and photographs. EFL began writing a personal narrative of his experiences in 1944, beginning this account with his arrival at the camp in 1943. The photographs of the German prisoners were taken by the Army Signal Corp.

The war crimes files include newspaper clippings, photographs, and publications. The clippings and Army Signal Corp photographs document the Borkum Island trial. The photographs in this section also include snapshots of the Dachau concentration camp. The publications are reports of individual governments and the United Nations, stemming from the investigation and judgement of war crimes in Europe and Asia.

The collection also comprises EFL's Army records, his personal correspondence and memorabilia, and an assortment of maps. The maps of northern Africa, where the El Reno prisoners were captured, are originals.

Dates

  • circa 1917-1959

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

Edward F. Lyons, Jr. (EFL) was born in Boston, September 17, 1899. He earned a bachelor of law degree from Northeastern University in 1921 and passed the Massachusetts bar exam the same year. He was engaged in general practice until 1933 when he began working as an attorney with Home Owners Loan Corporation, an agency of the federal government.

In 1942 EFL entered the Army. He was commissioned a year later and served as an Intelligence Officer, 1943-45. During this time he was stationed in El Reno, Oklahoma, in a camp for German prisoners of war.

From May 1945 until April 1946 EFL was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany with the War Crimes Board, trial section. He was a member of the prosecution staff at the Borkum Island trial, a case involving the assault and murder of seven United States airmen.

EFL returned to the United States in 1946 and was discharged from active duty. He continued to work as a civilian employee in the War Crimes Branch, International Affairs Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General. His work included supporting the continuing prosecution of German war criminals and preparing materials relating to war crimes for use in training Army officers. He became a member of the Security Screening Board in 1955 and the Clemency and Parole Board for War Criminals in 1957. In 1954 EFL took the position of chief, plans and policy section of the War Crimes Branch, Judge Advocate General Office. He was chief of the War Crimes Branch in 1959 when he retired.

EFL passed away in 1990.

Extent

1.20 cubic feet (5 containers, 1 flat file folder)

Language

English

Overview

Edward F. Lyons, Jr. was born in Boston, September 17, 1899. He earned a bachelor of law degree from Northeastern University in 1921 and passed the Massachusetts bar exam the same year. He was engaged in general practice until 1933 when he began working as an attorney with Home Owners Loan Corporation, an agency of the federal government. In 1942, he entered the Army, and in 1943-1945 he served as an intelligence officer in a camp for German prisoners of war in El Reno, Oklahoma. In 1945-1946, he was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany with the War Crimes Board trial section. He was a member of the prosecution staff at the Borkum Island trial, a case involving the assault and murder of seven United States airmen. Edward F. Lyons, Jr. returned to the United States in 1946 and was discharged from active duty. As a civilian employee for the U.S. Army in the War Crimes Branch, International Affairs Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, he continued to support the prosecution of German war criminals and prepared instructional materials relating to war crimes for Army officers. He became a member of the Security Screening Board in 1955 and the Clemency and Parole Board for War Criminals in 1957. In 1954, Edward F. Lyons, Jr. became chief of the Plans and Policy Section of the U.S. Army War Crimes Branch, Judge Advocate General Office. He retired in 1959. He died in 1990.

Overview

The collection documents Edward F. Lyons, Jr.'s involvement with prisoner-of-war camps and the prosecution of war crimes between 1917 and 1959. The bulk of materials relate to his World War II experiences in 1943-1946. The records concerning the El Reno, Oklahoma prisoner-of-war camp for Germans include memorabilia, eleven personal notebooks, and photographs. Edward F. Lyons, Jr. began writing a personal narrative of his experiences at the camp in 1944, beginning the account with his arrival in 1943. His assignment in Germany is represented by memorabilia, one personal notebook, photographs of bomb damage, and American and German propaganda literature. The personal notebook describes his involvement with the Borkum Island trial and his impressions of Germany and the German people. His war crimes files include newspaper clippings concerning the Borkum Island Trial, photographs documenting the Borkum Island Trial and the Dachau concentration camp, and publications concerning war crimes in Europe and Asia. The collection also comprises his Army records, his personal correspondence and memorabilia, and an assortment of maps, including original maps of northern Africa, where the El Reno prisoners were captured.

System of Arrangement:

Arranged in one alphabetical sequence.

Physical Location

73/4, FF1/D2
Title
Finding aid for the Edward F. Lyons Papers
Author
Finding aid prepared by Kelcy Shepherd
Date
October 1996
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US