Joseph Vincent DePaul Dillon – Major General, United States Air Force

Courtesy of the United States Air Force

Died August 1, 1971

Brigadier General Joseph V. Dillon, the Air Provost Marshal of the U.S. Air Force, served in Army military police and provost marshal positions throughout World War II, and prior to his present assignment was U.S. Army Provost Marshal of the European theater.

General Dillon was born in New York, New York, in 1899. He enlisted in the Coast Artillery Corps of the New York National Guard in July 1917, and was discharged the following May. A month later he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, from which he graduated July 2, 1920. That same date he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in the Regular Army and promoted to First Lieutenant.

The following September he transferred to the Coast Artillery Corps and entered the Coast Artillery School at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Upon graduation from the basic course in June 1921, he was assigned to .the 52nd Coast Artillery at Camp Eustis, Virginia, and in December 1922, reverted to the rank of Second Lieutenant.

In June 1923, he went to Hawaii for service with the 55th Coast Artillery at Fort Ruger. After returning to the United States in April 1926, he took the battery officers' course at the Coast Artillery School and then was assigned as an instructor with the Connecticut National Guard at Bridgeport.

He became a battalion adjutant with the 64th Coast Artillery at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, in November 1931, and the following September transferred to Fort De Russey, Hawaii.

In September 1934, he became a student officer at Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C., from which he graduated in 1937 with a bachelor of laws degree. Two years later he received his master of laws degree from Georgetown, and was transferred to the Judge Advocate General's Department.

During 1937 and 1938 he was detailed to duty in the Department of Justice as assistant to the solicitor general of the United States.

He last served in the Office of the Judge Advocate General at Washington, D.C., and as assistant judge advocate general at U.S. Military Academy.

In November 1941, he was appointed chief of the Military Police Division of the Provost Marshal General's Office at Washington, D.C. The following May he was named deputy provost marshal general and in December 1942, became commandant of the Provost Marshal General's Training Center at Fort Riley, Kansas.

In May 1943, he was promoted to the temporary rank of Brigadier General and assigned as Provost Marshal General of the North African theater, where he served until October 1944, when he became Provost Marshal General of the Southern Line of Communications in France and Deputy Provost Marshal of the European theater.

He was appointed Provost Marshal of the European theater in May 1945 and the following February became air provost marshal at USAD Headquarters. He reverted to the rank of Colonel in March 1946, and was transferred to the Air Force in April 1947. A year later he was promoted to Brigadier General.

General Dillon has been awarded the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal. His foreign decorations include the French Legion of Honor and Croix de Guerre with Palm; Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E.; the Italian Grand Commander Crown of Italy, Imperial Capital Military Order of St. George of Corinthia and Cavalier of the Grand Cross of Merit, and the Moroccan Quissam Alouite, Grand Officer.


He was promoted to First Lieutenant on November 24, 1925; to Captain on August 1, 1935; to Major on July 1, 1940; to Lieutenant Colonel (temporary) on December 24, 1941; to Colonel (temporary) on February 1, 1942; to Brigadier General (temporary) on March 18, 1943; to Lieutenant Colonel (permanent), on July .2, 1943. He reverted to the rank of Colonel (temporary) on March 31, 1946, and was promoted Colonel (permanent) April 2, 1948; to Brigadier General (temporary) April 9, 1948; to Major General (temporary) on July 23, 1951, with date of final rank from June 29, 1952.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 01/04/1899
  • DATE OF DEATH: 07/25/1971

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