Plymouth County

Capt. Leonard Dirks



Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dirks, of this city, received a cablegram the first of this week from their son, Lieut. Leonard Dirks, who is located in England and serving with the American Rangers, that he participated in last week’s large scale raid on the Nazi base at Dieppe, France, and had returned to England without mishap. Lieut. Dirks is a member of one of the first contingents of American troops to arrive in the British Isles in this war, and was assigned to the American Rangers (similar to the British Commandos) some time ago. Upon hearing that the Rangers participated in the Dieppe raid, his parents assumed that Leonard had taken part in the affair and their belief was verified upon receipt of his message.

Source: Akron Register-Tribune, August 27, 1942

NEWS of the BOYS in the SERVICE.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dirks of Akron were much pleased Tuesday to receive a letter, the first in six weeks, from their son, Leonard Dirks, who is serving with the American Rangers in the North African campaign. He recently received a promotion from first lieutenant to a captaincy. Capt. Dirks wrote that he was all right and feeling fine. While he could not state that he had been in action, there was intimation that such may have been the case. At any rate, this second promotion in rank would indicate that this Akron young man is giving a good account of himself as a soldier.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, March 23, 1943


Capt. Leonard Dirks gave his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dirks of Akron, a pleasant surprise when he arrived in Akron Monday from two years service overseas.  Capt. Dirks went to Ireland about two years ago and transferred to the American Rangers, when they were first organized, training in Scotland.  He participated in the ill-fated Dieppe expedition and escaped unscathed from an experience, which cost so many allied soldiers their lives.  He was with the Rangers in the invasion of Africa, Sicily and Italy and participated in much of the hard fighting at Salerno and around Cassino, escaping capture at the latter point when a good share of his outfit were taken prisoner by the Germans.

Capt. Dirks expects to spend a  20-day leave at Akron and in Des Moines, where he was employed when he entered military service.

Source:  LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, March 31, 1944 (photo included)