Robert A. J. Dyer
Col. Dyer was born on October 31, 1924 in Charleston, AR. He graduated from high school in Tupelo, MS in 1942. Dyer received his wings and commission with the class of 44-D at Napier Field, Dothan, AL on April 15, 1944. Following additional training and transition into P-51 fighter aircraft, he was assigned to the 118th TRS, 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force in December 1944. During his assignment, Col. Dyer served in China, Burma, and India. Col. Dyer’s missions involved strafing and escorting bombers and transport planes.
Of all the memories during this period, two were most vivid. Upon his arrival in Kunming, an unexpected and joyous reunion occurred between Dyer and his brother-in-law, Gene Breedlove, also a member of the 14th Air Force. The other memory, occurring just before the departure, involved an attack by bayonet wielding Japanese engaging in hand to hand combat. The attack occurred after the Armistice was signed and was the time he feared most for his life.
After his WWII service, he attended the University of Mississippi at Oxford before his return to active duty and service in the Korean War. He graduated from the Army Helicopter School, St. Benedict’s College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the Aero Space Safety College, University of Southern California at Los Angeles.
Col. Dyer served as operations officer and helicopter pilot with the 7th Aviation Company during the Korean War. He was assigned for three years to the Department of Tactics, Unites States Military Academy, West Point, NY. He served as commander of the 25th Aviation Company in Hawaii and later as test manager of the Army Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) Aircraft Project under the Army Test and Evaluation Command. Col. Dyer was later assigned to the Combat Operations Center, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Following four years as commander of the Foreign Science and Technology Center, Charlottesville, VA, Col. Dyer retired from military service. During his thirty-three year military career, he was the recipient of two Legion of Merit Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two National Defense Service Medals, the Air Medal, numerous theater medals and the Bronze Star.