Papers (1917-1962) consisting of correspondence, wartime photographs, newspaper clippings, military orders.
Colonel Fairfax Kirkwood Dillon of Statesville, North Carolina was a participant in both world wars. In World War I, as a second lieutenant, he was an aviator; and in World War II, Dillon was a Combat Intelligence officer in the Army Air Force. He participated in the original landing at Casablanca in North Africa (1942). Later, Colonel Dillon was involved in the U. S. landings in Sicily and Italy, and he personally received the surrender of the enemy on the Isle of Capri in Italy. Dillon was next sent to the Pacific theater and was on Okinawa at the time of the Japanese surrender; after which he was ordered to Korea as the Military Mayor of Seoul. Discharged in 1946, Colonel Dillon retired to Statesville where he died in 1957. Among the medals he received were the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, an Air Medal, World War I and World War II Victory Medals, and numerous campaign awards.
This collection consists of Colonel Dillon's correspondence (1942-1944), wartime photographs, military orders, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous material.
Due to the wartime censorship, there is little of major significance in the correspondence, except for one letter (Nov. 8, 1942) which was sent to Dillon's mother by way of a friend, and, consequently, was not censored. Written at sea just a few hours prior to the American invasion of Morocco, Dillon gives a few of his impressions on the upcoming North African campaign. Dillon relates that the Vichy French in Morocco are aware of the impending invasion due to the blackout of Casablanca and due to the bypassing of the French fortress of Dakar by the American convoy. Dillon also describes the sinking of an enemy submarine and two enemy planes. In another letter (Nov. 3, 1942), Dillon describes a few of the duties of an Army Air Force Combat Intelligence officer. Also included are several thank you letters from the families of deceased soldiers to whom Dillon had sent his condolences.
Also of interest in this collection is a pamphlet entitled North Africa which was issued to the American soldiers who participated in the North African campaign. This pamphlet describes the geography of the area, the climate, the diseases, and the people and their customs. Newspaper clippings in the collection consist mostly of the obituary and funeral notices of Colonel Dillon and Lt. Colonel Jim Johnston of Statesville. There are a few clippings concerning American participation in World War II. Also included are Colonel Dillon's discharge papers; a biographical sketch of Dillon; the April 1957 issue of The Purple Heart Magazine; World War I and World War II photographs of Dillon; and lists of medals and citations received.
Gift of Mrs. A. B. Raymer
Processed by R. Weaver, April 1972
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.