Walter “Wally” Dixon was drafted in 1942; his brother Harry “Buddy” was drafted about a year later.
“We were both in the Army,” said Wally. “Buddy was two years younger, so I got called up first. I worked in the medical section giving shots and caring for sick soldiers.”
“I had repaired watches a bit before I was drafted, so I ended up as a watchmaker,” added Buddy. “Besides watches, I also worked on other instruments such as binoculars.”
Wally ended up in England, north of London and Buddy was in New York for a year before being shipped out.
“We would write to each other,” said Wally. “And, after a while, Buddy wrote, telling me told me that he was coming to England, but he didn’t know exactly where he would be or when he would be here.”
“And, for security reasons,” added Buddy, “you couldn’t use the name of a town within a 50-mile radius of where you were located. Wally could have been in the next town for all I knew.”
Buddy tried it once.
“I found the letter in the office. The town had physically been cut out of the letter."
The only thing Buddy had to go on was a postcard from Wally.
“It was from the Rainbow Corner Red Cross Club in London,” explained Buddy. “It was in London, which ended up being more than 50 miles away from both of us.”
Buddy got two 48-hour passes and headed for London.
“I told him to find Piccadilly Circus,” laughed Wally as he looked at his brother.
“I was looking for a circus, like Ringling Brothers,” chuckled Buddy. “I did think it was a bit odd for war time.”
Buddy finally found the crowded Rainbow Club.
“There were soldiers everywhere and I was an hour early,” explained Buddy. “There were numerous reception rooms and on more than one floor.”
As he searched, everyone suddenly stood at attention.
“I looked over and General Eisenhower walked in,” smiled Buddy. “I’m looking for my brother and run into Eisenhower.”
After greetings and an autograph from the General, Buddy went back to searching for his brother.
“I went halfway up the stairs and watched the door, then went outside and walked back in, in case he was inside doing the same,” said Buddy.
“That’s when I saw him,” said Wally. “My brother; it had been such a long time.”
The two brothers, finally reunited, reminisced and spent a couple of days together.
“I’m glad we got to see each other,” said Buddy with a tear in his eye. “I had no idea that I was being shipped out to Normandy right after.”
Since returning home from war, Wally and Buddy have remained close and devoted to one another.
Being a veteran means the world to them.
“I’m proud to have served,” said Wally. “And even more proud today when people say thank you.”
“I agree,” said Buddy. “People seem to respond to my hat and say something, more so now than before. It’s just nice to feel appreciated.”