Monday, August 8, 2016

Copies of Book Spotlighting Douglas Dickey Donated to Local Libraries

The book “ Remembering Douglas Eugene Dickey, USMC” by Terence W. Barrett, Ph.D, is now available at several local public libraries (Arcanum, Greenville, New Madison, Union City, and the Worch Public Library in Versailles). Two books were recently donated to each library by the Darke County Educational History, Inc. via grant funds awarded by the Lydia E. Shaurer Memorial Trust Fund. One of the goals of the Darke County Educational History, Inc. is to help make PFC Douglas Dickey as important in Darke County history as are Annie Oakley and Lowell Thomas.

PFC Doug Dickey is the only native Darke County soldier to be awarded the Medal of Honor. The following is an excerpt from his Medal of Honor citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Platoon, Company C, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, Third Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam on March 26, 1967. While participating in Operation BEACON HILL I, the Second Platoon was engaged in a fierce battle with the Viet Cong at close range in dense jungle foliage. Private First Class Dickey had come forward to replace a radio operator who had been wounded in this intense action and was being treated by a medical corpsman. Suddenly an enemy grenade landed in the midst of a group of Marines, which included the wounded radio operator who was immobilized. Fully realizing the inevitable result of his actions, Private First Class Dickey, in a final valiant act, quickly and unhesitatingly threw himself upon the deadly grenade, absorbing with his own body the full and complete force of the explosion. Private First Class Dickey's personal heroism, extraordinary valor and selfless courage saved a number of his comrades from certain injury and possible death at the cost of his own life.

On that day, Easter Sunday, March 26, 1967, Doug was just 20 years of age. Just 3 months past his 20th birthday. He had been a Marine less than a year. Less than 2 years before that fateful day he was a high school student. Doug graduated from Ansonia High School in 1965.Doug was even too young to vote as well as under the legal age to drink alcohol! Had Doug survived this battle, he would have been ordered back to the states since his brother, Norman, was severely wounded in another battle just 9 days earlier.

Assisting us with the book distribution was Dennis Dickey and John Greendyke. Coincidentally, both are Marine veterans who also served in Vietnam, and sadly, both lost a brother in Vietnam. Dennis is Doug’s brother, and John lost his brother Gerry Greendyke, GHS Class of 1960, on February 3, 1968. Gerry received a Silver Star for his actions as an Artillery Forward Observer. John Greendyke is a GHS Class of 1966 graduate and served 2 (combat filled) tours in Vietnam.

This 800+ page book is a “must read” for young and old lovers of history. Many pages describe the WWII experiences of Doug’s father, Harold. Harold was also a Marine and was in combat surviving several island landings (eg) Saipan, Guam, Tinian, and Okinawa. Many names of Darke County soldiers are mentioned throughout Dr. Barrett’s book. In fact, when I talked to Dr. Barrett and asked him why there wasn’t an index, he replied that would take another 100+ pages to list them all.

This book is so good that we feel many of the library readers will want to own their own copy. Fortunately, the GARST Museum stocks this book in their Gift Store at a favorable price compared to Also, at the GARST Museum is the expanded Douglas Dickey Exhibit which was dedicated on November 14, 2014. This exhibit is a “must see” for every Darke County resident. It is located near the Gift Store.

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