Barry County History Portal - Hosted by Hastings Public Library

James P. Dibble: Letters Home Before Combat


A letter from James to his mother January 25, 1942. After some casual chit chat, he writes about waiting to get into the Army Air Corps. The war is raging and he's just excited to join.


Here James has sent home papers for his parents to sign. While not explicitly described, they appear to be related to his joining the Army Air Corp.


James is about to go to primary flight training. He talks about gaining respect for soldiers and how much he's enjoying where he is.


James talks about high altitude flight.


James talks about flying above the clouds on a training mission.


James tells his parents of the upcoming marriage to Micky!


James needs his parents to authorize his marriage for the Army.


James and Micky get to spend a bit of time in Glendale, CA, a sort of delayed honeymoon. Note the nicely illustrated hotel stationery.


Apparently James' brother Bill doesn't know how to salute properly.....

Browse an assortment of letters from James' time in Chicago right after High School, to flight training, to being stationed in California before being delpoyed to Africa.

More letters are available on the full collection pages about James. Browse them at any time:

Be sure to browse through the entire exhibit as well which highlights the entire collection and includes dozens of letters, mission reports from 1943, personal accounts of air battles, the Dibble family's search for answers and so much more.

All content in this exhibit was donated to the Hastings Public Library by Jim Dibble, nephew of fighter pilot James P. Dibble. We are proud to display it for others to learn of James' sacrifice, the one so many men and women made in World War II.