Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Honoring an Irvington Family of Veterans

Countless Irvingtonians have served in the U.S. military over the years. Many fought and died for the country in several wars.  In the twentieth century, it was possible for three generations of family members to serve in three separate wars. Jesse Earl Dickerson, who later moved to Irvington with his wife Esther, assisted the army during World War I as a medic administering inoculations. His sons, Leland and Robert, both served their country during World War II.  Robert Dickerson, son of Leland and Anna Belle York Dickerson, had a tour of duty during the Vietnam War.

The Dickerson family, like so many others who have come to the aid of their country paid a heavy price. Robert Dickerson, the brother to Leland and son of Jesse and Esther Dickerson was killed near Aachen, Germany on January 15, 1944.  Brian Callahan, a nephew of Mr. Dickerson, reports that Robert had not been in the war for very long when he was shipped overseas to fight the Germans, who were "bulging" into Allied divisions. Many of these young draftees never had a chance as a high percentage of these troops died in the ferocity of the last gasp by the German forces along the front lines.  Mr. Callahan reports that many of these new recruits did not have the experience to fight in such a war nor were there any mentors who could teach them how to survive. 

Robert Dickerson's family received two purple hearts as he had been injured in a previous battle. Mr. Callahan reports that over the decades many members the Dickerson family have honored Robert's service by visiting his grave. Robert Dickerson never had the chance to marry nor have children of his own.  Today we thank the Dickersons and thousands of other Americans like them who have lent their fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters to the United States government in times of war, chaos, and terror.

To learn more about the Dickerson family, click on the link below. The historic photos and stories are courtesy of Brian Callahan.  

Esther Plank Dickerson, Jesse Earl Dickerson, Robert Dickerson
Leland and Robert Dickerson posed with their mother and other family members at 818 North Arlington Avenue c1943

Letters sent home to Esther Dickerson


  1. Excellent article on Robert S Dickerson of the fighting 69th Infantry. Thank you very much.

  2. My pleasure! Thank you for reading Vintage Irvington.