As a farm hand and grocery delivery boy growing
up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ed Ryon had no idea that one day
he would become a B-26 pilot in World War II. The war had a similar
effect on everyone. One thing didnt change though
his love for his childhood friend, Margaret, who has been Eds
wife for sixty-three years.
Ed Ryon humbly recounts his life and training in
the United States Army Air Force with humor and respect
a little humor at his own expense and respect for those who trained
him and those he served with. Ed flew forty-six missions over
Germany and all but one with the same crew. He also tells of
a touching reunion with his crew after fifty years apart. Ed
brings his personal story to the history of World War II.
Library of Congress Control Number:
First lieutenant Edward Lindsay Ryon,
Sr. was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on March 11, 1923. His
family lived at the foot of Lookout Mountain until he was two
years of age. At that time, they moved to East Brainerd, a rural
area about ten miles east of the city. He started grammar school
at the age of 5 ½ at East Brainerd Elementary School.
From there, he attended Tyner Junior High and Tyner High School
until his graduation in 1941. During high school, he was active
in sports, especially varsity football where he served as a co-captain.
He was the recipient of the Sons of the American Revolution Award
in his senior year.
As a boy growing up during the Depression,
Ed would work as a farm hand during the summer. He also worked
in a grocery store delivering groceries. On January 31, 1936,
Ed became a Boy Scout and was quite active for many years as
a Scout Master and leader in the Scouting program.
He attended Concord Baptist Church from the age of two. He became
a Christian and joined the church at the age of ten and has been
a member at Concord Baptist for 74 years. As a member at Concord,
he and his wife, Margaret, took an active part in all phases
of the church. He was an ordained deacon, was a Sunday school
teacher for twenty years, and worked with the youth. He also
served as a trustee and helped write the bylaws and constitution
of the church.
He always liked the outdoors and was
an avid hunter and fisherman. For many years, he raised and trained
bird dogs as well as beagles. He hunted as much as possible.
Camping was another favorite outdoor activity. At home, he likes
to work outdoors gardening, tending to the many flowers that
surround their house. He also enjoys wood working and has a shop
On returning to Chattanooga after the
war, Ed and Margaret moved back to the community where they both
grew up. Soon after his return, he started working for Southern
Bell. He worked there until his retirement in November, 1985.
He also attended the University of Chattanooga at night, majoring
in civil engineering.
As time permitted, he became active in
community affairs. He was involved with the Telephone Pioneers
and the Brainerd Optimist Club where he served as a trustee.
He taught in the Chattanooga Literacy Movement and taught conversational
English to immigrants. He assisted in fund-raising for the Birth
Defects Center at T.C. Thompson Childrens Hospital where
his wife, Margaret, was Executive Director for twenty-five years.
He also raised funds for the National Foundation for the March
Now, he enjoys his time in the yard and
time with his family which has expanded to include grandchildren
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