Courtesy of the 82nd ABN Division Association
Brigadier General (Ret) George W. Dickerson
Commander, 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division
Vietnam, December 1968 – December 1969
On the morning of December 17, 1968, Brigadier General George W. Dickerson, in a short change of command ceremony at Camp Red Ball, west of Saigon, South Vietnam, received the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division colors from Brigadier General Alexander R. Bolling, Jr.. He commanded the 3rd Brigade until he brought the Brigade colors back to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in December, 1969.
A native of Warrenton, Virginia, General Dickerson entered the Army as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia, in 1941.
From 1942 to 1945, he served with the 24th Infantry Division in the Southwest Pacific as a platoon leader, company and task force commander, and Division G3. He participated in the division's assault landings in New Guinea and in the Philippines at Leyte, Mindoro, Verde and Mindanao Islands. General Dickerson also commanded an advance team of the Eighth Army's Occupational Planning Board that landed on
Shikoku, Japan, shortly after the Japanese surrender but thirty days ahead of the main occupation forces.
Returning to the States, he served on the faculty of the Ground General School and the Intelligence School at Fort Riley, Kansas, where he helped to develop the “Aggressor” concept to add realism to field maneuvers and exercises. After completing the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1950, the General was assigned to the US Occupation Forces in Austria where he served on the commanding general's staff and commanded the 3d Battalion, 350th Infantry.
From 1953 to 1956, he served as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Ohio University before attending the Armed Forces Staff College. After graduation, the General commanded the 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Division, in Korea, and the lst Battle Group, 7th Cavalry Regiment.
In 1959, he was graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and served as Chief, Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Research and Development at the Pentagon. In 1961, he was selected as the US Army representative to the Joint Advanced Study Group in the Office of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Going to
Naples, Italy, in 1963, he joined Headquarters, Allied Forces, Southern Europe as Chief, Training Division. Under Admiral C. D. Griffin, then Colonel Dickerson served for two years as Secretary of the Combined Staff for the Commander-in-Chief, NATO Southern Flank, composed of representatives of six allied nations. On his return to the States, he occupied the Eli Root Chair as Chairman of the Department of Strategy, US Army War College.
Promoted to Brigadier General on 5 August 1967, he was assigned as Assistant Chief of Staff, Comptroller, at the US Continental Army Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia. General Dickerson has been initiated into Phi Kappa Phi scholarship honorary fraternity, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership fraternity, and Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. He held Master's degrees in industrial management and business administration, and taught management to personnel overseas through the University of Maryland's extension program.
General Dickerson was awarded the Combat lnfantrymen's Badge, Silver Star, Bronze Star with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters Air Medal with two Oak Leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Army commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He was a qualified Parachutist and held the US and Vietnamese Parachutist Badges. In addition, he held the Bronze Arrowhead for participation in combat amphibious assaults in the Pacific, as well as the Presidential Unit Citation.
He retired shortly after his service with the 82nd Airborne Division in Vietnam and went on to have a distinguished civilian career. He was one of the pioneers of cable television and served as City Manager of Poquoson, Virginia, for a number of years before his second retirement.
General George W. Dickerson died the morning of June 7, 1999 after a long illness. Although he was in very poor health and had been confined to a convalescent center, he was so very proud to have served with us in Vietnam. Above his bed was a small patch that read “82nd Airborne Division, Vietnam, 1968-69”. His wife Lois was so
gracious and appreciative that he was not forgotten.
A Visitor's Evening for viewing was at 6:30 PM Wednesday at the Clayron & Rollins Funeral Home, 836 Poquoson Ave, in Poquoson, Virginia 23662 (757) 868-6641. Our Chapter made sure that flowers were prominently displayed honoring General Dickerson's command of our Brigade. A civilian funeral was then held at the Methodist Tabernacle Church in Poquoson, Virginia, on Thursday, June 10, 1999 at 4:00 PM.
Brigadier General Dickerson was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on June 16, 1999 at 3:00 PM. Representation from The Golden Brigade Chapter was present.
Those that would like to send a card or other remembrances may send them to Mrs. Lois Dickerson, 145 Carroll Drive, Poquoson, VA 23662-1006.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard