Lest We Forget – Photos from the Collection of Gaston Lamirande

There’s a story behind that photo of a Hawker Tempest Mk. V Series 2. Warrant Officer II Gaston Lamirande, who had this photo in his collection, was not the pilot flying ZD-V.

At first I thought Warrant Officer II Gaston Lamirande was sitting in the cockpit of his Tempest. It made sense. However Squadron Leader Emanuel Barnett Lyons was the pilot who was flying Tempest Mk. V ZD-V.

What had happened to Squadron Leader Emanuel Barnett Lyons’ plane?

Squadron Leader Emanuel Barnett Lyons is seen in front of a Hawker Tempest Mk. V Series 2. He is on the right with another pilot.

Both pilots are also together on the group photo taken probably on the same day.

I found more information on Flight Lieutenant Lyons here.


Emanuel Barnett Lyons was born in London in 1918. While studying at Magdalene College, Cambridge in June 1939 he joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 22 EFTS and 5 FTS before joining 65 Squadron at Turnhouse on 2nd September 1940.

Lyons remained with the squadron until July 1941, when he moved to 222 Squadron at Manston. When 243 Squadron was reformed on 1st June 1942, Lyons joined it as a Flight Commander. He went with it to North Africa in November and took part in operations in support of the 1st Army.

In 1944 Lyons was posted to 33 Squadron in France as a supernumerary Flight Lieutenant. Soon afterwards he rejoined 222 Squadron, also on the continent, as a Flight Commander. Lyons took command of 222 in January 1945. It was then at Predannack, having returned to England to convert to Tempests.

He took the squadron to Holland in February and led it until being seriously wounded on 11th April 1945.

His Tempest V SN165 ZD-V was hit by flak during an attack on Fassberg airfield.

The canopy, armored headrest and horizontal stabilizer were badly damaged and Lyons was wounded in the head. He was able to fly 200 miles back to his base.

Awarded the DFC (gazetted 8th May 1945), Lyons was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He was awarded the Netherlands Flying Cross (gazetted 21st April 1947) for gallantry, initiative and determination as commander of a squadron in which a number of Netherlands pilots were serving during March and April 1945.

He died in 1992.

Source of the medals https://www.gorringes.co.uk/news/battle-britain-dfc-group-squadron-leader-butcher-lyons

I wish I could identify who was with him.

I wish I could also identify all these airmen one day.


9 thoughts on “Lest We Forget – Photos from the Collection of Gaston Lamirande

  1. Hi Pierre, I am assuming you saw the canopy of the Tempest is damaged – blown out – in the first of your photos, does this mean that THIS is the Tempest in which the pilot while wounded flew back to base?? I think I see more damage in other places on the Tempest but you have the best resolution to see this, not me.

    Cheers, Karl Kjarsgaard – Curator Bomber Command Museum of Canada

    1. Found in a book

      Seen in its dispersal at Kluis. No 222 Sqn’s Tempest SN 165 ZD-V had been flown by Sqn Ldr E B Lyons in an attack on Fassberg airfield on 11 April 1945. The fighter was hit in the rear of the cockpit by flak during a strafing pass, breaking off armour plating attached to the seat which in turn struck Lyons on the back of the head. Semi-conscious, the pilot managed to pull up straight away and fly 200 miles back to base (via JB Scutts)

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