Pvt. Ervin G. Dickson
Submitted by: Paul Burgholzer
Pvt. Ervin G. Dickson served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1917-1919.
Pvt. Ervin George Dickson joined the Army in Mount Ayr, Iowa in September, 1917. Dickson was a farmer before he was sent to Europe as an infantryman for the US Army. He fought in the 38th infantry division while in France during 1918. He courageously fought at the Marne, St. Mihiel, the Verdun front line, and the Argonne Forest.
While fighting in the Argonne Forest, Dickson was shot in the hand, neck, and chest. German soldiers found him on the ground and moved him to a German field hospital where he received excellent treatment. his American comrades thought that he was dead and his death was recorded in US military records. His family was even notified of his death, yet he was recovering in a German Army hospital.
When the war ended he was brought to an American Army Hospital in France. Due to his wounds he could not write or speak. He managed to get someone in the hospital to write a letter to his family. the person misspelled his last name so the family was confused when they received this letter. One he recovered more, he went back to Iowa where he was welcomed as a hero.
After the war he started a family and eventually received an overdue Purple Heart in 1956. Dickson wore bandannas around his neck to conceal his scars from his children. As well as farming, he worked for the US Postal Service for a while. Unfortunately he ran into some troubled when he retired from the USPS. He was mistakenly still on a federal list recorded as deceased so he was originally denied his retirement benefits.
This story was brought to the WWI Centennial Commission's attention by Ervin Dickson's daughter, Margaret S. Dickson-Dykman.