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Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP Pistol - Issued to Brigadier General LeGrande Albert "Pick" Diller, USA

Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP serial number M136879 issued to Brigadier General LeGrande Albert "Pick" Diller (ca. 1945).

Colonel LeGrande Albert (Pick) Diller

Col. LeGrande A. Diller, U.S. Army, S-6660, FA

Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP serial number M136879 issued to Brigadier General LeGrande Albert "Pick" Diller (ca. 1945) - General Diller's issued Colt Model 1908 .380 ACP pistol with his medals.  The medals along the back row are all inscribed "LeGrande Diller" on the reverse.

 

Brigadier General LeGrande A. (Pick) DillerBrigadier General LeGrande Albert (Pick) Diller (1901-1987) - (ASN: 0-15078) LeGrande A. Diller was born in Tonawanda, Erie County, New York on February 16, 1901. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry in the Regular Army on February 19, 1923 with date of rank back to January 5, 1923.

Diller graduated from Syracuse University in 1924 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.

He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on October 7, 1927. In 1928 he graduated from the Infantry School Company Officers Course. On August 1, 1935 he was promoted to Captain. He graduated from the Command and General Staff School in 1937. Diller received a promotion to Major on July 1, 1940.

 

 

 

 

Lt. Gen. Douglas MacArthur conducts a ceremony formally inducting the Philippine Army Air Corps into
United States Army Forces in the Far East at Camp Murphy, near Manila, Island of Luzon on 15 August 1941.

Of the four officers standing immediately behind MacArthur, LeGrande A. Diller is on the far right.
At this date Diller held the rank of Major and was an Aide and personal secretary to MacArthur.

Photo from "The War in the Pacific THE FALL OF THE PHILIPPINES" by Louis Morton
Publisher: CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY 1953

Diller had been serving on duty in the Philippines since 1939, when, in 1941 he became one of General Douglas MacArthur's personal Aides. On December 19, 1941 Diller received a promotion to the temporary rank of Lieutenant Colonel (A.U.S.)

When MacArthur left the Philippines in the historical dash of the small flotilla of four PT Boats in early 1942, MacArthur was on PT-41 and Diller was on PT-35. Shortly thereafter Diller was promoted to Colonel (A.U.S.) on March 23, 1942. He was assigned as a member of the General Staff Corps on October 17, 1942.

The original burial place of LeGrande A. Diller is unknown at this time. On May 26, 1989 he was interred in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas Plot: 18 887.

Brig. Gen. LeGrande A. Diller (Photographed in 1944 when he held the rank of colonel.)
Associated Press Photo.

Diller remained with MacArthur during the war, receiving a promotion to Brigadier General (A.U.S.) on January 9, 1945.

Photograph inscribed by General Douglas MacArthur to Pick Diller:
"To Pick Diller
with the regards and affection of his
old comrade-in-arms,
Douglas MacArthur
Tokyo, 1947"

The nature of Diller's duties while an Aide to MacArthur is summarized in the following passage:

"Diller subsequently served as MacArthur's exclusive aide, particularly in the area of press relations. He took pains to protect MacArthur's prestige and image from damage and was particularly careful to prevent information or rumors unfavorable to MacArthur from leaking out. At the same time, Diller
secretly managed MacArthur's private financial assets. In sum, he held two posts concurrently as a private secretary. Throughout the Pacific war Diller exercised his considerable ability in human relations and encouraged rumors and a public consensus that emphasized MacArthur's heroic status. He accompanied MacArthur at the surrender ceremony on the Battleship USS Missouri in September 1945. Immediately afterward, he was promoted from aide-de-camp to military secretary and served under MacArthur until June 1947." ¹

¹ MacArthur in Asia: The General and His Staff in the Philippines, Japan, and Korea by Hiroshi Masuda Cornell University Press, 2012

Diller was promoted to the permanent rank of Colonel in the Regular Army on March 11, 1948. According to his obituary he commanded Regiments in Europe from 1947 to 1954. It was during those years he commanded the 22nd Infantry Regiment, from approximately 1952-1954.

On September 30, 1954 he was retired from the Army with the rank of Brigadier General. Among his decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star Medal and the Legion of Merit. He received a disability in the line of duty.

September 2, 1970 - MacArthur Gift Admired - Gen. Douglas MacArthur presented a copy of the official document
 of he Japanese surrender to all his staff members. Gen, "Pick" Diller and Mrs. Diller glance through their copy
while standing in front of a 600-year-old Japanese robe he purchased in Tokyo.
[Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Florida) - 02 Sep 1970 Wed - Other Editions - Page 20 (Staff Photo by Pat Piper)]

Jean MacArthur with (left to right) Mr. and Mrs Jerry Farley,
Brig. Gen. LeGrande “Pick” Diller, Chas Mulcahy
and Henry Woyach at a reception June 10, 1979,
at the War Memorial Center’s Villa Terrace.
Photo from the Veterans Community Relations Team (VCRT) Forum website

On September 2, 1987, exactly 42 years to the day of the unconditional surrender by the Japanese at the end of WWII, LeGrande A. (Pick) Diller, died of cancer at his home in Reynolds, Ga.

[Source for some of the above content: http://1-22infantry.org/commanders/dillerpers.htm]

Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP serial number M136879 issued to Brigadier General LeGrande Albert "Pick" Diller - left side showing "M" marked serial number indicating that this pistol had the modifications made by Colt to prevent jamming.  Magazine is "M" marked as well. Note ordnance mark on the frame to the right of the thumb safety.

Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP serial number M136879 issued to Brigadier General LeGrande Albert "Pick" Diller - Displayed with his medals.  The Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star and Legion of Merit are all inscribed on the back "LeGrande Diller". General Diller was also the recipient of the Philippine Distinguished Service Star, the third highest military decoration of the Republic of he Philippines (the inverted five pointed star pictured to the left of the American Defense Service Medal).

Army Distinguished Service Medal

Awarded for actions during the World War II

Citation: (Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Colonel LeGrande A. Diller (ASN: 0-15078), United States Army, was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 41 (May 6, 1946)

Action Date: 1945 - 1946

Service: Army

Rank: Colonel

Silver Star

Citation:

Action Date:

Service: Army

Rank:

Legion of Merit

Citation:

Action Date:

Service: Army

Rank:

Philippine Distinguished Service Star

Philippine Distinguished Service Star

Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP serial number M136879 issued to Brigadier General LeGrande Albert "Pick" Diller - right side showing "U.S. PROPERTY" mark on frame.

Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP serial number M136879 issued to Brigadier General LeGrande Albert "Pick" Diller - base plate of original magazine.

A collection of Japanese currency and military insignia brought home by Brigadier General Diller following WWII.  Note the card in the lower right corner certifying the presence of Brig. Gen LeGrande A. Diller, USA at the formal surrender of the Japanese Forces to the Allied Powers, dated September 2, 1945.

Brigadier General LeGrande "Pick" Diller, 86 Dies
(April 15, 1889 - January 11, 1984)

September 5, 1987 -- LeGrande A. "Pick" Diller, 86, a retired Army brigadier general who was one of Gen, Douglas MacArthur's closest aides during World War II, died of cancer Sept. 2 at his home in Reynolds, Ga.

Gen. Diller was sent to the Philippines in 1939 and Joined MacArthur's staff in February 1941. He became the future five-star Army general's aide-de-camp and press relations adviser, remaining on his staff throughout the Pacific war and participating in many of its most historic moments.

USS Missouri

Japanese Surrender: USS Missouri

He accompanied MacArthur on his daring PT-boat escape from the Philippines to Australia and ended the war as a leading Army representative on the committee that arranged the formal Japanese surrender aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Harbor on Sept. 2, 1945.

Japanese Surrender: Japanese Delegation

Japanese Surrender: General MacArthur and the Allied Powers

Japanese Surrender: Japanese Delegation signs the Surrender Document

Japanese Surrender: Admiral Chester Nimitz signs the Surrender Document as the United States Representative.

Japanese Surrender: Unconditional Surrender of the Japanese Forces Signature Page

After the war, he remained with MacArthur, who was commanding Allied occupation forces in Japan, and spent two years as secretary of the Army general staff in Tokyo. From 1947 to 1954, Gen. Diller commanded infantry regiments in West Germany.

He retired for reasons of health in 1954 and two years later moved to Florida. He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts at the Ringling School of Art in Bradenton, Fla., and served on the school's board of directors and did art work in Florida. He moved to Georgia earlier this year.

Gen. Diller was a native of New York state and earned his nickname laying rails in his youth. After his 1923 graduation from Syracuse University, he was commissioned in the infantry.

His first wife, Harriett (Hat) Diller, died in 1986. Survivors include his wife, Mary N. Diller, whom he married in July 1987 and who lives in Reynolds; a son, retired Army Col. Richard W. (Wells) Diller of Killeen, Tex,; two brothers, retired Army Col. Everell, of Irving, Tex., and Thurlow, of Syracuse; two sisters, Onnolee Mosher of Tucson, and Rowena Diller of Syracuse; and a grandchild.

 

DILLER, LEGRANDE A. BG United States Army
DATE OF BIRTH: 02/16/1901
DATE OF DEATH: 09/02/1987
BURIED AT: PLOT: 18 887
FORT SAM HOUSTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

 

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