Barry County History Portal - Hosted by Hastings Public Library

James P. Dibble: Letters Home During Combat


James talks about his ocean trip to Africa and the wonders he's seen.


A letter home talking about being stationed in North Africa. Note the V-Mail form used for the letter, the instructions on how to use it and how James self-censored the letter.


A hand-written mother's day letter.


No doubt James loves his Micky. Read a heartfelt and sweet letter home from a man thankful to have found someone to love.


James talks about receiving the Air Medal.


James talks about being recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross.


James talks in detail about what it's like to be in a tough spot while flying. it really helps bring the war into focus and make you realize what it was like for the pilots to hear it so personally recounted.


James' final letter to his wife, September 8, 1943. He would be shot down the next day on a mission over Italy.

Browse an assortment of letters from James' time being stationed in Africa and flying combat missions over Italy.

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.