DICKSON, GROVER LEE
DICKSON, GROVER LEE
Rank / Branch:
CPL E-4 USMC
THIRD MARINE DIVISIO
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, MULTIPLE FR
Awards & Decorations:
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Elaine Dickson Receiving Navy Cross
GROVER LEE DICKSON, CORPORAL, USMC, MIDLAND, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
NAVY CROSS, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Grover Dickson was born in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of Guy Dickson and Pauline Christine Cason. A brother, Gary Reginald Dickson was born in San Antonio, June 17, 1940. Grover's parents divorced in 1942 and both boys remained with their father. Mr. Dickson worked on a dairy and also drove a bus for Greyhound during World War II. His father married Marjolie Merle Jackson of Athens, Texas in 1945. They both worked for Greyhound. This marriage produced two sons, Arlen Earl Dickson, born January 13, 1946 in Waco and Ronny Ray Dickens born May 13, 1947 in Houston. Marjolie became the only mother that Grover and Gary knew.
After the war, Grover's father went to work for Southland Corporation where he worked in the dairy division. The family moved quite often as new stores and operations were being opened. Grover attended schools in Waco, Houston, Brownboro (a small community outside of Athens), and Dallas. His brother, Arlen indicated that Grover wanted to go into the Marine Corp as soon as he could. Grover and a friend took off from school and went on an adventure running around the southeast. When he returned, Grover insisted he wanted to go into the Corp. With a doctored birth certificate and his father's signature, Grover joined the Marine Corp at age 16, in 1955. He served a four year enlistment and was separated in 1959 at age 20. He remained active in the Marine Corp Reserves. He married the first time in San Diego in 1961 and that marriage ended in divorce in 1963.
Grover worked a series of jobs. He worked for Southeastern Chemical Company in Midland where his parents were living and then he worked around Texas and Louisiana. In 1964, he was working in a ship yard in New Orleans.
He was not happy with the work opportunities. The Marine Corp was offering a re-enlistment bonus, credit for pay for his previous active duty and Marine Corp Reserve duty, he elected to return to active duty in 1965 with a rank of Corporal for a four year enlistment. He re-enlisted from New Orleans, Louisiana and he used that as his home of record. He married Elaine Malone a divorcee with three small girls, in San Diego after had served six months in Vietnam in February 1966. She was from Pasadena, Texas.
He had began his tour in Vietnam with K Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division as a squad leader with the 2nd Platoon in August 1965. He volunteered to extend his tour by six months. His unit operated around hill 400 and what was known as the Rock Pile near the DMZ. He was killed in a firefight with the V.C. on Hill 400 in Quang Tri province. His family had been in contact with a Navy Corpman who was with him and who took care of his body. The Corpman indicated that Grover suffered from multiple fragmention wounds from a grenade and a gunshot wound to the head. For his actions that day, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest award for valor.
He was buried with full military honors in the New Hope Cemetery in Athens, Texas. Grover's great great grandfather had donated the land for the church and cemetery.
New Hope Cemetery, Near Athens, Texas
Grover was survived by his parents, his wife and three small step children, his brothers- Gary, Arlen and Ronny. His brother, Gary and father are now deceased and rest next to him. His mother now lives in Tyler, Texas. His younger brother, Gary drown at Cedar Lake in 1971 and his father passed away in 1982. His brother, Arlen splits time between Midland and Horseshoe Bay, Texas; and brother, Ronny lives in Houston. The family lost contact with Grover's wife, Elaine Dickson many years ago. She was last living in Pasadena, Texas.
*DICKSON, GROVER LEE
Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Company K, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein.) FMF
Date of Action: November 11, 1966
The Navy Cross is presented to Grover Lee Dickson, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as squad leader of the Second Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in Republic of Vietnam during Operation PRAIRIE on 11 November 1966. When the Second Platoon came under heavy enemy automatic weapons fire during a search and destroy mission which seriously wounded his platoon commander and two other Marines, Corporal Dickson quickly formed his squad into an effective fighting force. Seeing a wounded Marine in front of his position, he charged forward, with complete disregard for himself, and succeeded in carrying his wounded comrade to safety. Then, realizing that his platoon commander lay seriously wounded beneath the aperture of an enemy bunker, Corporal Dickson seized a grenade launcher and tried to quell the automatic rifle fire coming from the enemy emplacement. Aware that this action was not successful, he returned to his squad's position, picked up a fragmentation hand grenade and, without regard to the unrelenting fury of automatic weapons fire, charged the bunker. He threw the grenade through the aperture and momentarily neutralized the position, enabling the removal of his platoon commander to a safe location and subsequent evacuation. Automatic weapons fire again erupted from the same bunker. Ignoring the personal dangers involved, Corporal Dickson seized two hand grenades and charged the bunker again, but before he could reach his objective, he was mortally wounded. His daring initiative, valor and selfless efforts on behalf of his comrades were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
Born: 3/15/1938 at Fort Worth, Texas
Home Town: New Orleans, Louisiana