John Paul Dickson was born in Norfolk, Virginia on February 19, 1906. He attended Philips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts; one year at Brown University, and from 1926-1929 he attended Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree.
He entered the US Maine Corps Reserve and was commissioned Captain to rank from August 7, 1942, and subsequently advanced in rank to Major as of October 31, 1945. He resigned from the Marine Corps Reserve on August 18, 1948 to accept a commission as Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserve.
Upon reporting for active duty on September 6, 1942 he was assigned to the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, and after two weeks he reported to Marine Corps Headquarters, Washington, DC, for duty as Assistant to the Director, Division of Public Relations. From December 15, 1942 to March 31, 1944 he served in the Office of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, as a Research Specialist (German language), and as Liaison between the Special Warfare Branch and the Marine Corps; the Federal Communication Commission; and also had additional duty lecturing at the Office of Naval Intelligence School.
When detached from the Navy Department, he had temporary duty under instruction the moth of April at the Advanced Naval Training School, New York, New York. He then was ordered overseas, and from May, 1944 to April 30, 1946 he was attached to the American Embassy, London, England, and served with the Commander US Naval Forces in Europe, and with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. He was awarded the Letter of Commendation with Ribbon for his services from May, 1944 to May, 1945 with the Special Operations Section of Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces. From April 1, 1946 to November 5, 1947 he served with the Commander, Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Areas.
Upon returning to the United States in January 1949, he reported to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, and when transferred to the Naval Reserve in August, 1946 he was assigned to the Office of Naval Research, Executive Office of the Secretary, where he has served continuously.
In addition to the Commendation Ribbon awarded by Commander, Naval Forces in Europe, Lieutenant Commander Dickson has the American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and Navy Occupation Service Medal with Europe Clasp.
He died July 2, 2001.