1916 - 1943Edwin Dyess remains Shackelford County's most decorated serviceman. Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene is named in his honor. Born and educated in Albany and John Tarleton College, he joined the Army Air Force in 1938 and received his wings at Randolph Field. After three years he was promoted to Captain and put in command of the 21st Pursuit Squadron of 18 new Curtis P-40E fighter planes. In November 1941, due to the Japanese menace in Asia, the 21st Squadron was sent to the Philippine Islands. A month later, the Japanese attacked. Flying his P-40 off crude Bataan airsrips, Dyess fought them vigorously, shooting down five planes, and strafing, bombing and sinking their ships in Subic Bay. When all U.S. pilots on Bataan were order to fly south to safety, Dyess refused to leave his men and organized them as ground fighters. When all U.S. forces were surrendered, Dyess and his men endured the infamous Bataan Death march where brutal Japanese treatment caused hundreds of deaths of their prisoners. Dyess later escaped from a prison camp and met up with guerilla fighters who put him in touch with a U.S. submarine that took him to Australia. Returning to the U.S., he was the first to report the Japanese atrocities that killed one in three of their prisoners of war in WW II. After recuperation, he returned to active duty and was killed in the crash of a new P-38 fighter plane near Burbank, California on Dec. 22, 1943. He was 27 years old and is buried in Albany. Dyess was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross and was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor.
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Thursday, July 16th, 2015 at 10:02pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||14S E 472181 N 3620633|
|Decimal Degrees||32.72313333, -99.29686667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 32° 43.388', W 99° 17.812'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||32° 43' 23.28" N, 99° 17' 48.72" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Which side of the road?||Marker is on the right when traveling East|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 201-299 TX-6, Albany TX 76430, US|
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