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Norman Dike
Nickname Foxhole Norman
Born (1918-05-19)May 19, 1918
Died June 23, 1989(1989-06-23) (aged 71)
Place of birth Brooklyn, New York
Place of death Rolle, Switzerland
Allegiance United States
Service/branch War Office seal United States Army
Years of service 1942-1945 (active)
1945–1957 (active reserve)
Rank US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel
Unit Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Silver Star
Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster
Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster
Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands, 2nd class[1]
Relations -Norman S. Dike, Sr. (father)
-Evelyn M. Biddle (mother)
-Robin Auchincloss (daughter)

Lieutenant Colonel Norman Staunton Dike, Jr. (May 19, 1918 – June 23, 1989[1]) was a commissioned officer in the United States Army and later the United States Army Reserve. During World War II he was a Lieutenant in the 101st Airborne Division, where one assignment was Company Commander of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

Prior to military service

Dike was the son of a New York State Supreme Court judge.[2] He was a 1937 graduate of St. Paul's School[1] and a 1941 graduate of Brown University.[1] He studied at Yale Law School[3] prior to June 1942 but did not graduate at that time.

Military service

World War II

Dike became a lieutenant in the US Army some time before 25 May 1942.[3] In England immediately before the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment departed for the D-Day marshaling areas, Lieutenant Dike was listed as the regimental S-2 (intelligence officer)[4] (several other officers were specified as being either first or second lieutenants but Dike was only listed as a lieutenant).

Dike was transferred from Division HQ to Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in the first week of November 1944, becoming Company Commander .[5][6][7] During the assault on Foy, Dike had ordered a platoon to go on a flanking mission around the rear of the town.[8] During their charge, he ordered them to take cover.[8] His subordinates informed him they were going to get killed because they were sitting ducks.[8] At the same time, Captain Richard Winters, former commander of Easy Company and the Battalion executive officer, tried radioing him to tell him the same thing. Having no idea how to control the situation, Dike froze.[8][9] Carwood Lipton, at that time the company's first sergeant, later put it: "He fell apart."[8] He was relieved during fighting at Foy by First Lieutenant Ronald Speirs under orders from Captain Winters, then moved on to become an aide to Maxwell Taylor, 101st Airborne Division.[8][10]

In his autobiography (Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Richard Winters), Winters spoke in unflattering detail about Dike. Likewise, in Brothers in Battle—Best of Friends, William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron do not refer to him favorably.[11][12] Dike was a poor soldier and leader and was often unavailable during combat; these traits earned him the pejorative nickname of "Foxhole Norman" among the members of Easy Company.[5]

Post war

After World War II, Dike remained in the Army Active Reserve and served during the Korean War, eventually attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. He resigned in 1957.[1]

Later life

Dike received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1947. He became a member of the New York Bar in 1949 and the District of Columbia Bar in 1954. From 1950–1953, he was a U.S. Commissioner in Japan. He also worked for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1951–1953. He practiced law in New York City and in Washington, DC. In 1960, he became a permanent resident of Switzerland. He was an officer of the U.S. Uranium Company, United Western Minerals Company and other oil and mining interests in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Las Vegas, Nevada. He died in Rolle, Switzerland, on June 23, 1989.[1]

Television

Dike was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Peter O'Meara.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Obituary: Norman Staunton Dike, Jr". Retrieved 2012-10-10.
  2. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Robin Auchincloss Married to a Banker". New York Times. 1986-12-19. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  3. 3.0 3.1 <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Alumna of Walker-Engaged to Lieut. Norman-S, Dike Jr". New York Times. 1942-05-25. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  4. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"HQ & Regimental HQ Companies". 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Guarnere, Heffron & Post 2008, p. 147
  6. Ambrose 1992, p. 163
  7. Ambrose 1992, p. 204
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Ambrose 1992, pp. 208–210
  9. Guarnere, Heffron & Post 2008, p. 189
  10. World War II Honoree
  11. Guarnere, Heffron & Post 2008, p. 160
  12. Guarnere, Heffron & Post 2008, p. 190

References

  • Guarnere, William J.; Heffron, Edward J.; Post, Robyn (2008). Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tell Their Story. New York: Berkley Caliber. ISBN 978-0-425-21728-3. 
  • Ambrose, Stephen E. (1992). Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7434-6411-6. 

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