John Lycas, 62, a retired Army colonel and a heavily decorated veteran of the 1st Infantry Division in World War II, died May 28 at the University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville, Tenn., after a heart attack. He lived in Falls Church and was vacationing at the World's Fair when he was stricken.
Col. Lycas went into the Army in World War II. After receiving a commission, he was assigned to the 16th Infantry Regiment in the 1st Infantry Division. Called "The Big Red One" after its shoulder patch, an Arabic numeral "1" on an olive background, it was one of the elite assault divisions in the war and spent 443 days in combat.
Col. Lycas served in the 1st Division through all of its campaigns. In North Africa, he won the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army's second highest decoration for gallantry after the Medal of Honor. His other decorations include the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, two Legions of Merit and the Meritorious Service and Army Commendation medals.
After the war, his assignments included duty in Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Germany and at the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., from which he graduated. He was stationed at the Army Materiel Command in Alexandria when he retired in 1975.
Col. Lycas was born in Bloomington, Ind., and attended Indiana University. He later earned a bachelor's degree at George Washington University. He was a Mason and a member of the Retired Officers Association.
Survivors include his wife, Loretta, of Falls Church; a daughter, Rebecca A. Beyer of Woodbridge, Va.; two sons, Dean R. and John D., both of Pittsburgh; a brother, George, of Denver, and two sisters, Ellen Bennett of Denver, and Kathy Bollman of Frankfort, Ind.