C. Bickham Dickson, Jr.
U. S. Army Air Forces
WWII US Military
B-24 Crew Chief, 449th Bomb Group

Although he could have stayed home, "Dick" as he was nicknamed, wanted to go to war. Born in Shreveport, he attended Centenary College and Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama. He was working on his family's Sunflower Plantation in Bossier Parish when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Although he had a six-month deferment for growing food, Dick told his father, "Dad, you know I don't feel right." He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces on October 26, 1942 and was soon stationed near Salt Lake City in B-24 training. There he entered the 489th Bomb Group. Dick sailed across the Atlantic on the SS Manhattan to the air base of the 489th at Hailsworth, England. There, Dick serviced B-24s, and watched the bombers depart and return from raids on enemy factories and military positions. He saw the V-2 buzz bombs dropping onto London. A "buck" sergeant, Dick returned to the states in the winter of 1944 and was sent to B-29 schools. He was preparing to fly to the Pacific theater when hostilities ended. After the war he returned to the plantation.