Rear Admiral Dickinson was born in Jamestown, New York, on August 2, 1886, the son of the late Commodore Dwight Dickinson, who served in the Medical Corps of the Navy for forty years. Rear Admiral Dickinson received his undergraduate training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1909, and in 1911 he was appointed Acting Assistant Surgeon in the United States Navy. He served in each rank successively until he was made Captain, effective June 16, 1942, and was placed on the Retired List of the Navy on September 1, 1948 in the honorary rank of Rear Admiral
During World War I, Rear Admiral Dickinson, as Battalion Surgeon of the Second Battalion, Fifth Regiment, 4th Brigade, United States Marines, participated in the St. Mihiel, Blanc Mont, Champagne, and Meuse-Argonne offensives in France, and later accompanied the Army of Occupation to Germany. For his heroic services as set forth in the following citation, he was awarded the Navy Cross:
“For extraordinary heroism in action near St. Etienne, France, October 4, 1918. Under terrific shell and machinegun fire, Lieutenant Dickinson attended the wounded with utter disregard for his own safety. When a shell struck the dressing station which he had established in an advance zone, he rushed to the assistance of the wounded, and through his devotion to duty many lives were saved.”
During the Second Nicaraguan Campaign, August 1926-January 1933 Rear Admiral Dickinson was Battalion Surgeon with the 11th Regiment, Second Brigade, US Marines, operating in the mountains of northern Nicaragua against General Sandino and his revolutionary forces
Rear Admiral Dickinson has served in USS Oglala, USS Denebola, USS Mayflower (1923), and also with Destroyer Division 42 aboard USS Bainbridge. He had shore duty at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Washington, DC, Fleet Air Base, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, and in naval hospitals at Washington, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and at Newport, Rhode Island. He reported at the Navy Yard, Washington, DC in the October 1944, and in December 1945, he was named a member of the Naval Examining and Retiring Board for the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, where he is still on active duty. He is a specialist in neuropsychiatry.
In addition to the Navy Cross, Rear Admiral Dickinson was cited by the Army for the same action and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and was awarded the Silver Star Medal, by the Army for his services at Mont Blanc Ridge on October 4, 1918. He also has the Victory Medal – World War I, with three battle clasps Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, and is entitled to the American Defense Service Medal, American Area Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. He was decorated with the Croix de Guerre by the Government of France, as well as the Medallo de Merito by Nicaragua.
He died on March 17, 1974.