The Wayne County Outlook

Features

February 25, 2014

Dick receives medals after years

2-26-2014 —     A humble man from a modest background, nearly 21 years old, was 

inducted into the United States Army in 1942 to serve his country in 

World War II. That's the story of many men of that generation. Floyd 

Dick is one such man.

    Dick served in the Quartermaster Corps of the Army from 1942 to 

1945. During this time, he earned several medals which he did not 

receive upon discharge. It was only recently that he received the 

medals.

    He explained that his son-in-law, Dan Vickery, researched the 

process and helped him get the medals he had rightfully earned. His 

honors included: the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign 

Medal and Bronze Star Attachment (Triple), World War II Victory 

Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Honorable Service Lapel Button 

WWII and Marksman Badge and Rifle Bar.

    There are a number of reasons for a soldier not to receive his 

medals when he was discharged.

    Dick explained that when he was discharged, there was a long line of 

men waiting for the same thing. He got to the front of the line, and 

the officer in charge told him he could go over to the PX (Post 

Exchange) and pick out any of the medals he wanted.

    He said, "I'd rather just go home than get something I didn't earn." 

And that's exactly what he did.

About Floyd Dick's service

    Dick left his home in Wayne County to attend basic training at Camp 

Wheeler in Georgia in July and August 1942. "Hot. Nothing down there 

but little stubby pines and sand," he recalled. "When they'd bring 

your food to you, there'd be a little sand. You didn't chew it much. 

You just swallowed it. You didn't want the sand gritting in your teeth."

    His favorite part training was the obstacle course specifically the 

rope swing. He said he liked to swing across first, so he could watch 

everybody else. The "city boys" had a hard time. They wouldn't swing 

back far enough to get across, so they were left dangling over the 

pond until they had to drop down in it.

    Aside from the obstacle course, Dick had an aptitude for auto 

mechanics. The Army recognized this and sent him to the Midwest Auto 

Diesel School after he finished basic training. After that, he joined 

his company for maneuvers in Tennessee before going to Camp Pickett, 

Virginia. His final stop in the United States was Fort Dix, New Jersey.

    Dick's Quartermaster Corps company was headed for the Pacific 

islands to deliver supplies and set up laundry units for the troops. 

He explained that they had to go to the east coast and through the 

Panama Canal because the Japanese has submarines in their path from 

the west coast. It took 30 days to get from New Jersey to the Panama 

Canal to their first stop in the Pacific. The ship carried 5,000 

troops and 100 nurses.

    The Quartermaster Corps company Dick was with supplied troops on 

several Pacific islands including: New Caledonia, New Hebrides, 

Guatalcanal, Green Island, Luzon, the Philippines and New Guinea. In 

New Guinea, Dick's company supplied troops with ammunition, bombs and 

spare parts. He said they would leave the supplies up and down the 

road, and the troops would drive by and pick up what they needed. He 

was in New Guinea when the atomic bomb was dropped and Japan 

surrendered. Dick reached the rank of Tech 5 while in the Pacific.

    Dick spent two and a half years in the Pacific. When it came time to 

ship the troops home, he was among the first group who had spent the 

most time there. The ship ported in Tacoma, Washington where the 

troops were welcomed home with a band and supper. "I've never seen so 

much food in my life," said Dick. He recalled having to be careful of 

what he ate in the Pacific. They couldn't eat any of the fresh fruit 

because the Japanese had injected poison into it.

    From Washington Dick took a train across the country to Camp 

Atterbury, Indiana where he was discharged. He took a bus to 

Somerset, and from Somerset he took a taxi to Monticello. His mom 

made him fried sweet potatoes for his first meal back home.

    Floyd Dick had three brothers who also served in WWII: Lloyd, Cecil 

and Ellis. His brother Lawrence served in the Korean War.

    Shortly after he arrived home, Dick left for school in Tennessee 

where he advanced his mechanical education. He got a job not long 

after graduation and worked 35 in Wayne County as a mechanic.

    Floyd Dick served his country well and is worthy of all his long-

awaited medals.

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