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Abilene in Taylor County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Lt. Col. William E. Dyess

 
 
Lt. Col. William E. Dyess Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 21, 2014
1. Lt. Col. William E. Dyess Marker
Inscription. Albany, Texas native William Edwin Dyess (b. 1916) graduated from John Tarleton Agricultural College and became an aviation cadet at Randolph Field, San Antonio. Dyess went to the Philippine Islands as commander of the 21st Pursuit Squadron of P-40 aircraft.
     After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, and invaded the Philippines, Dyess led successful attacks against Japanese shipping in Subic Bay, with few operational planes, and served as an infantry commander during the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942. He was taken prisoner and faced the grueling Bataan Death March that resulted in the loss of thousands of American and Filipino lives. Despite the malnutrition, disease and torture the captives faced in Japanese prison camps, Dyess survived, on April 4, 1943, almost a year after his capture, he and 11 other men escaped, making their way through hostile territory. They connected with a guerrilla group who put them in touch with a U.S. submarine that took them to Australia. Dyess debriefed with the War Department and Gen. Douglas MacArthur. After Dyess returned home, publication of his stories in the Chicago Tribune provided invaluable information on conditions in Japanese prisoner of war camps that altered world opinion.
     Promoted to Lt. Colonel and recuperated from his wartime ordeal, Dyess returned
Lt. Col. William E. Dyess Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 21, 2014
2. Lt. Col. William E. Dyess Marker
to flying. He died on December 22, 1943, when the new P-38 he piloted caught fire over Burbank, CA., and crashed. His wife, Marajen, published his personal war accounts the next year as The Dyess Story, and he was the inspiration for the acclaimed play Men of Bataan (1943). Highly decorated for combat heroism and leadership, Dyess was buried in Albany (35 mi. NE). In his honor, Abilene Air Force Base was renamed Dyess Air Force Base in 1956.
 
Erected 2004 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13110.)
 
Location. 32° 26.52′ N, 99° 48.578′ W. Marker is in Abilene, Texas, in Taylor County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Arnold Boulevard (Farm to Market Road 3438) and Military Drive, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located at Dyess Memorial Park at the southwest corner of the intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Dyess AFB TX 79607, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 12th Armored Division at Camp Barkeley (approx. 0.4 miles away); 12th Armored Division Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); 7th Bombardment Wing, Heavy (approx. 0.8 miles away); Air Force Medal of Honor Recipients
Dyess Memorial Park image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 21, 2014
3. Dyess Memorial Park
Although part of Dyess Air Force Base,
the park and the marker are open to the general public
(approx. 0.8 miles away); Dyess Elementary School (approx. 1.8 miles away); Site of Western Cattle Trail (approx. 2.3 miles away); Abilene Woman's Club Building (approx. 2.5 miles away); Company I   7th Texas Infantry (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abilene.
 
Also see . . .  William Dyess - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on October 1, 2014.)
 
Categories. Air & SpaceWar, World II
 
View to the south towards Dyess AFB image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 21, 2014
4. View to the south towards Dyess AFB
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 1, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 221 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 1, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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