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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection Overview
Creator: Lyons, Edward F., Jr. (b. 1899).
Title:Edward F. Lyons, Jr. papers
Dates:ca. 1917-1959
Call Number:M14
Location:73/4, FF1/D2
Volume:1.20 cubic ft. (5 boxes, 1 oversized item)
Scope and Content Abstract: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.
Historical Abstract: 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.
Arrangement:Arranged in one alphabetical sequence.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Lyons, Edward F., Jr., b. 1899.

  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Class of 1921.

  • War crime trials -- Germany.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American.
  • Prisoners of war -- Oklahoma -- El Reno.
  • Prisoners of war -- Germany.

Restrictions:The collection is unrestricted.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Kelcy Shepherd, October 1996