A HERO is set to meet the children of an airman he saved from the burning wreckage of a plane more than 70 years ago.

Ron Dale was just 17 when he pulled Sgt Armstrong ‘Doc’ Lyon from a crashed Wellington bomber in Milton-under-Wychwood in 1942.

Despite saving the American's life, the two never met again, and it as only recently that Mr Dale, 91, learned the airman had survived the war and lived a full life.

Now, Sgt Lyon's daughters Pamela and Marion have contacted Mr Dale, of Thorney Leys, Witney, to thank him for saving their father’s life all those years ago.

This summer they will visit Oxfordshire – from their homes in the United States and Australia – and Mr Dale will take them to the spot where he saved their father.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Dale said: “I’ve spoken his daughters, it was great.

“They talked about wanting to come and visit and I said if they did come I’d take them to the exact spot where it happened. I’ll take them everywhere.

“Mostly, they were both expressing their gratitude to me for what I did and that was very nice.”

Sgt Lyon’s eldest daughter, Pamela, is a visiting research fellow at the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University of South Australia.

She is also a visiting research fellow at the Centre for Global Food and Resources at the University of Adelaide.

Ms Lyon contacted the Witney Gazette after reading this paper's reports about Mr Dale at the end of last year, saying she had ‘so much to tell [him] and so much to thank him for’.

She confirmed that her father passed away 21 years ago but added that ‘he used the life Mr Dale gave him very well’.

After a conversation with Mr Dale, she said: “I am hoping to meet him and to visit the sites that were so formative in my father’s – and my – life.”

Sgt Lyon’s younger daughter, Marion Lyon-Hayes, also contacted the Witney Gazette after seeing the reports about Mr Dale and her father.

Ms Lyon-Hayes said: “I will say Mr Dale is in fact a hero as he rescued my father.”

She also explained why her father, an American, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

She added: “My father joined the RCAF to fight Hitler long before the United States joined the war.”

On September 16, 1942, 17-year-old Mr Dale was preparing to leave his family home in Milton-under-Wychwood to go to work.

As he stood in the garden with his mother he saw, overhead, a Wellington bomber suffer a failure in one of its engines.

The plane crashed about a quarter of a mile from where they were stood.

Mr Dale darted to the field where the plane had come down and dragged Sgt Lyon, who was badly burned, out of the plane.

The other four crew members on board were killed and the wreckage exploded moments later.

Armstrong 'Doc' Lyon was from Philadelphia in the United States.

He joined the RCAF in June 1941 and flew dozens of missions until the end of the conflict, being awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross in February 1945.

A report on his service at one point read: “He has always shown himself ready to engage the enemy wherever the least opportunity has arisen.

"By his aggressive spirit and by a thorough knowledge of his guns he has engaged and destroyed many enemy night fighters."

Mr Dale has been commended by mayor of Witney Chris Woodward and Witney's MP Robert Courts.