COLONEL JOHN DIBBLE was born in NJ in 1890. He grew up in Camden NJ. His father was Theodore Hoyt Dibble. Theodore Dibble was a Civil War veteran, serving with Company A of the 5th Connecticut Infantry, entering as a Sergeant and leaving service as a Captain. His wife, Clara Wilkinson Dibble, was much younger, born in 1863. In 1890 and 1891, Theodore and Clara Dibble made their home at 427 Washington Street in Camden NJ. Theodore Dibble passed away prior to January of 1910. In 1910 John and mother Clara Dibble lived at the home of his grandparents, Leander and Mary Wilkinson, at 559 Washington Street in Camden NJ. His grandfather was a retired railroad engineer, who had run the first train from Jersey City to Atlantic City, the then-famous "Nellie Bly".
John Dibble attended the E.A. Stevens School, and graduated from the original Camden High School at Haddon and Newton Avenues in 1909, which later became Clara S. Burrough Junior High School. While at Camden High, he participated in several after school activities, including the class debating team. As a senior he took part in the Senior-Junior Debate, which was judged by Howard M. Cooper, Edgar A. Freeman, and Harry C. Dole.
John Dibble went on to study medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from Penn, he interned at Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia. After completing medical school, he enlisted in the United States Army in 1917. He graduated from the Army's school for flight surgeons, at Roosevelt Field, on Long Island NY, and went on to serve in Germany with the Army of Occupation after World War I. When occupation duty ended, Dr. Dibble remained in the Army, and would be a soldier for the rest of his life. He served in various posts throughout the 1920s and 1930s, including a stint as the Chief of Medical Service at Fort McKinley in the Philippine Islands. Colonel Dibble was named as Surgeon of the Third Army just after Pearl Harbor.
John Dibble had married a girl from Camden, Mary Walford. He always maintained his Camden address throughout his career, the last one being that of his Uncle, George Wilkinson, 654 Washington Street, who, like Leander Wilkinson, was a railroad engineer. His Aunt, Ella Boyle Wilkinson, was the daughter of Hugh Boyle of the Camden Police department. John Dibble's last trip home to Camden was in May of 1942.
Colonel Dibble was killed with 16 others when the transport plane they were in crashed in the Pacific Theater of Operations on February 7, 1943. He was survived by his son, Captain John Dibble, then serving at Fort Hood TX, and a daughter, Mrs. John Corbey, whose husband was at that time a Major in the Army, his uncle, George Wilkinson, and a brother, Theodore Savage Dibble. His mother had passed away sometime after April of 1930.
Washington Street, Camden NJ
|427 Washington Street and 559 Washington Street no longer stand as of December 2002|
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Class of 1909
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