The Harlan R. Dickson is named in honor of Lieutenant-Commander Harlan Rockey Dickson, U. S. Navy.
Lieutenant-Commander Dickson was born in Columbus, Ohio, on September 16, 1914. He was commissioned an Ensign from the Naval Academy in 1936. After serving three years aboard the USS Quincy, and two years aboard the USS Teal, he was ordered to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Flordia. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade) on September 1, 1939. Upon graduation from the Naval Air Station, Dickson was assigned to a bombing squadron and on January 2, 1942, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
He saw much action in the Pacific, including the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, receiving the following awards: American Defense Service Medal-Fleet Clasp; Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal; Navy Cross with the following citation: "For extraordinary heroism and courageous perseverance as pilot of an airplane of a bombing squadron in dive bombing attacks against Japanese forces in Tulagi Harbor on May 4, 1942, and in an attack on a Japanese aircraft carrier in the Battle of the Coral Sea on May 8"; Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross with the following citation: "For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service as a pilot of an airplane of a scouting squadron in action against Japanese forces in the Battle of Midway during the period of June 4 to June 6, 1942".
Dickson was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on May 1, 1943, and served as commanding officer of Bombing Squadron Eighteen until his death in an airplane accident in California on February 5, 1944.
The sponser of this ship is Lieutenant-Commander Dickson's mother, Mrs. Mildred Mae Studler of Washington, D.C., who is present today.
The Harlan R. Dickson is the first ship of our Navy so named.
This article is taken straight from the program that was given out when the Harlan R. Dickson [DD-708] was commissioned. February 17, 1945.
Reunion UpdatesRegistration Forms, Itinerary, Hotel Form
Debbie Johnson is the webmistress of this page
and I will update it frequently as things are sent to me.