Robert E. Dillon Papers
The youngest of seven children born to Henry (1877-1935) and Mary E. Dillon (1877-1968), born on August 25, 1922, Robert Edward Dillon was raised in in the mill town of Ware, Massachusetts. Ambitious and capable as a student, he attended Massachusetts State College for two years before to being inducted into the military in 1943.
Following basic training at Camp Lee, Virginia, Dillon was accepted into Officers Training School and sent across country to Pittsburg, California, to prepare for the Quartermaster Corps. Once arriving there, however, he discovered that all the OTS was overenrolled and after being required to re-interview for a berth, he was rejected and ordered to train to become a mechanic. Frustrated with his changing fate, Dillon was never enthusiastic about spending time around cars and trucks, and despite all his training, he never considered himself a very good mechanic. Perhaps not coincidentally, he never advanced beyond the rank of corporal in the military.
Dillon was shipped overseas in January 1944, and after a brief period in North Africa, was ordered to the Punjab Region of what was then British India. Stationed for at least some of his time in service at Service Company #6 in Khanspur, now in Pakistan, he worked to repair and service trucks transporting supplies over the Himalayas to support operations by Nationalist forces in China.
With the war's end, Dillon left behind his mechanical training and used some of his savings and the GI Bill to complete his undergraduate education at the University of Massachusetts. He went on to earn a doctorate in marketing from the School of Business at Ohio State University, later serving on faculty at the University of Cincinnati until 1985, when he succumbed to lung cancer.