jbratton
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Hello from Arkansas

Tue Nov 16, 2010 17:13

Hello all. I'm a grandson of a WWII medic. His name was Richard H. Dibblee and he was with the 188th GIR. I know very little of his military background other than what I researched on my own. My grandfather passed away when I was young. I heard my mom talk of him and his military stories. I am looking for more information on his military records. I know he was with the 11th airborne and his rank was t-5 medic. I was curious and will always be curious of what he experience during the war. I just want to say I am very proud to be a grandson of a wwii hero.

Justin

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Ben
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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Tue Nov 16, 2010 20:29

Dear Justin,
Welcome to the Forum, and thank you for kindly sharing some information about your Grandfather. You should indeed be very proud of his service during WW2 with the 11th Airborne Division. I am sure that our members would be interested to learn any more information you might have been able to find about his service, should you wish to share it with us.
Thank you once again for joining our Forum, and I am sure you will have a great time here sharing information and knowledge with our many members.
Kind regards,
Ben Major (MRC Administrator) :)
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1943 Douglas C-47
1944 Cushman 53 Airborne Motor Scooter

jbratton
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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Tue Nov 16, 2010 20:35

Dear Ben,
Thank you for the reply. I recently received a letter from the National Military Records, located in St. Louis, that my grandfathers military records where burned in the 1973 fire. Where do I go from here? Would there be any other location where I could possibly find military records?

Thanks again,

Justin

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Ben
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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Tue Nov 16, 2010 20:40

Justin,
Many thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, since the 1973 fire at the National Archives, there is no longer a central place to carry out research on a WW2 serviceman. However, I would strongly recommend the following book by military historian, researcher and collector Jon Gawne:

Title: Finding Your Father's War
Author: Jonathan Gawne
ISBN: 1932033149
Publisher: Casemate (September 2006)

You can purchase a copy on Amazon > http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Your-Fath ... 344&sr=8-1

Thanks, and good luck in research!
Ben :)
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1943 Harley-Davidson WLA
1943 Douglas C-47
1944 Cushman 53 Airborne Motor Scooter

jbratton
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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Tue Nov 16, 2010 20:49

Ben,
Thanks. I'll check into that book. Also, I had another question. (I have lots of questions) My grandfather received his "combat medical badge'"first award. Being a combat medic how advanced was his medical knowledge? What he like a present day EMT? I know the 11th Airborne had the 221st Medical Unit with them, but how did that work? Did he bring the hurt to the 221st? Sorry for all the quick questions. I'm just so curious about this since he never really talked to me about it or my mom.

Sincerely,
Justin

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TenthA86
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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Wed Nov 17, 2010 02:47

You might also check with your county or state veterans affairs office - some areas kept records of each soldier's service locally, and you may be able to fill in the blanks that way. It's very "hit-or-miss" but worth a try.
David J. Little

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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Wed Nov 17, 2010 23:41

Being a combat medic how advanced was his medical knowledge?

Honestly, not all that advanced. The company aidmen were by and large not all that well trained (by modern standards) but did exceptionally well despite that fact.

What he like a present day EMT?

Not really. If you look up the modern day Army's combat lifesaver (CLS) course that is about the closest thing to the company aidman (the proper term for a WWII "combat medic") nowadays. The closest civilian equivalent would be a first responder course with the additional skill of IV insertion added to it (something you never see in civilian practice).
I know the 11th Airborne had the 221st Medical Unit with them, but how did that work?

Just for further reference, you are referring to the 221st Airborne Medical Company. For an idea how the airborne medical companies operated, you can take a look at the most experienced and first one deployed, the 326th. http://www.med-dept.com/unit_histories/ ... med_co.php This is the unit that the living history group I founded portrays. I have honestly heard nothing about the 221st before so I can't help with specifics as to what they did, where they served, etc.

For a good idea on how wounded were handled "up the chain", I suggest you read: http://www.olive-drab.com/od_medical_treatment_ww2.php

Did he bring the hurt to the 221st?
[/quote]
Normally, the company aidmen would treat the wounded and then they would be evacuated by a litterbearer platoon if one were available. The aidmen generally didn't go with the wounded as often they had more wounded to tend to or were needed to follow their unit forward. To which medical unit the wounded would be taken would depend upon the tactical situation. If the 221st's aid station was closest they might be taken there but if another company or battalion's aid station were closer they would go there. It wasn't a strict "You're part of this unit so you take your wounded to X" operation. There are even documented cases of American aidmen taking their wounded to German medical stations in extreme circumstances and vice versa.

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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:09

Hi Justin,
Ben already welcomed you to the Forum, and I'd like to join him by wishing you a very pleasant stay with the lot of us too !

Back to your Grandfather, do you know whether he was a member of the 221st Abn Med Co (the organic medical unit of the 11th Abn Div) ? or a member of the Medical Detachment attached to the 188th Glider Infantry Regiment (1944) or the 188th Parachute Infantry Regiment (converted to parachute status 20 Jul 45) ? The reason I'm asking is, that depending on the main unit your Grandfather served with, it might be interesting to try and locate the Morning Reports of subject outfit (see NARA), which were issued on a daily basis, and should contain his name as a regular member of the unit. General Orders issued by the Division should also list his name, since he was awarded the Medical Badge (only one award in WW2). Also for your info, though I trust you might know this, the 11th Abn Div received official campaign credits for New Guinea, Leyte, and Luzon.

I however do not agree with Steve when he states that the 326th Abn Med Co (101st Abn Div) was the most experienced and the first such unit deployed in combat - it was the 307th Abn Med Co (82d Abn Div) which was first deployed - when jumping over Sicily on 9 Jul 1943. The first combat action of the 326th Abn Med Co took place over Normandy 6 Jun 44.

All the best, Alain
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jbratton
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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Thu Nov 18, 2010 14:29

Thanks for all the responses.

Alan,
To respond to your questions, my grandfather was a member of the Medical Detachment to the 188th GIR. I am unfimilar with Morning Reports and NARA. Could you point me in the right direction in researching this? Also, I recently purchased the book entitled, "History of the 11th Airborne". Huge amount of information, and alot of details of all the campaigns.


Thanks again guys for all your help.

Justin

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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Fri Nov 19, 2010 03:06

Richard H Dibblee was a draftee from Indianapolis, IN, taking his oath of enlistment in Indy on 2-17-43. He was born in Utah in 1912, had a high school education and was working in the production of industrial chemicals (possibly at the Eli Lilly chemical plant in Indy). He was married when he entered service.
This can be fount at National Archives (NARA) at http://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-list.jsp?cat=WR26
David J. Little

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GliderRiderMedic
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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Fri Nov 19, 2010 04:46

I however do not agree with Steve when he states that the 326th Abn Med Co (101st Abn Div) was the most experienced and the first such unit deployed in combat - it was the 307th Abn Med Co (82d Abn Div) which was first deployed - when jumping over Sicily on 9 Jul 1943. The first combat action of the 326th Abn Med Co took place over Normandy 6 Jun 44.


Sorry, I typed that in a hurry. I meant to say they were the first in combat in Normandy. I tend to "forget" about the southern European operations since we aren't asked about them much and there are not a lot of living history events portraying that region. It's a shame because the events were just as important and just as interesting as more famous operations.

jbratton
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Re: Hello from Arkansas

Fri Nov 19, 2010 22:15

Thanks for the awesome info TenthA86!

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