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Honorable Tim Walz

Representing the 1st District of MINNESOTA

Walz Bill to Name Mankato Vets Facility after Late War Hero Passes House

Jun 17, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC [6/17/14] – Today, Representative Tim Walz announced that the House of Representatives passed his bipartisan bill to formally name the Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Mankato, MN after late war hero and local legend Lyle Pearson, formally of North Mankato, who passed away January 11, 2013. The entire Minnesota U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Delegation co-sponsored the legislation.

Pearson enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in May of 1942. After completing training as a pilot for the B-17 bomber, he was assigned to the 15th Air Force in Europe.  First Lieutenant Pearson flew the equivalent of 50 combat missions over occupied territory until he was shot down over Italy in December of 1944. He spent six months as a prisoner of war until the camp was liberated in May 1945. Lyle was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, multiple Air Medals, and the Purple Heart for his bravery.

“Lyle Pearson was the true definition of an American hero,” Representative Walz said. “Through his lifelong dedication to service, both in and out of uniform, Lyle left a profound and everlasting impact on southern Minnesota and the country as a whole. I’m pleased this measure honoring his memory and life of service to our great nation passed the House of Representatives today.”

After the war, Lyle rejoined his wife at their family farm, but the desire to serve never left him. Beginning in 1957, Lyle administered programs for the Nicollet County Juvenile Court and Nicollet County Court Services, first as the Chief Probation Officer and then as the Director of Court Services. In 1969, he was named the Minnesota Corrections Man of the Year.

In 1961, he served as the Minnesota Department Commander of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and in 1975, as National Commander, presenting legislative programs on behalf of the DAV to the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees.

Throughout his life, Lyle served in various community leadership positions, including as a board member of the Minnesota Valley Action Council, 4-H club leader, fight judge for the Golden Gloves Boxing program, and for over 54 years as a volunteer at the St. Peter State Hospital. 

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