LeGrande Albert Diller

Commanding Officer 22nd Infantry

4th Infantry Division

1952-1953 (?)

 

 

Colonel Legrande A. "Pick" Diller commanded the 22nd Infantry Regiment in Germany.
Though the exact dates of his command are unknown at this time, an estimate of
the time frame of his command are the years 1952-1953.

 

 

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.

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.

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

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."

 

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

 

 

     

Brigadier General LeGrande A. Diller
standing inside the ruins of the house
where General Douglas MacArthur lived before the war.

Date is March 2, 1945 after the invasion of the Philippines
by Allied Forces had crushed Japanese resistance.

Photo by Carl Mydans copyright Getty Images

 

 

Diller was promoted to the permanent rank of Colonel in the Regular Army on March 11, 1948.
According to his obituary below 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.

 

 

4th Infantry Division Newspaper Ivy Leaves Organization Day Edition October 9, 1953
Published in Germany

Colonel LeGrande A. Diller's photograph as Commander of 22nd Infantry is on the left page
far left, bottom.

 

 

BG (Retired) LeGrande A. Diller, third from the left, with his arm around Jean MacArthur,
the widow of General Douglas MacArthur, at a reception June 10, 1979, at the War Memorial Center’s Villa Terrace
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during festivities of the first MacArthur Memorial Week in Milwaukee, June 8-13, 1979.

Photo from the Veterans Community Relations Team (VCRT) Forum website

 

 

 

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.

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.

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. 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.


From The Washington Post

 

 

 

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
.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 


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