Home PageAbout UsOur VetsDonationsContact Us

Philip A Dittmann

War: World War II
Parent/Wife: H.P.
City: Wisc. Rapids
Birth Date: 22 Sept 1920
Death Date: 2 Aug 1944
How Died: Kia
Where Died: New Guinea
Where Buried:
Rank: Pvt
Branch: Army

Kia=Killed in Action
Dow=Died of Wounds
Dod=Died of Disease
Mia=Missing in Action


Phillip A. Dittman
Phil A. Dittman, a Corporal in World War II, a hero to all, especially to those who loved and cared for him. Letters and newspaper articles tell about his life as a civilian and a military man. He is remembered as a brave and honorable man.
Phil Dittman had a unique personality. He loved to write poetry to his girlfriend and his loved ones back home, but he also loved hanging out with his buddies, going surfing and also swimming. His poetry showed how he was a kind and compassionate man to all. But one thing that he cared about the most was of course his family, but his brother Bill who was also in the army at eh same time. The two had a strong relationship as they grew up. Mavis, Phil's girlfriend also wrote back and forth throughout the year of being apart.

After high school, Phil was drafted into duty. Phil was a part of the 129 F.A. Battalion, 32nd Division which was stationed not far from the Austrian border. As they were headed to Austria, Phil shared a cabin on a ship with four other soldiers. This turned out to be nice because they had their own shower and bath house right next to their room. When they got to Austria, their division had to secure a bridge that led to New Guinea, which turned out to be the end of the honorable Phil Dittman's life.

Phil died on August 2, 1944 in New Guinea. He was buried in Manila, Philippines. His grave's location is Plot A, Row 16, Grave#130.

Phil's death had affected the Dittman family so drastically that they asked the head of the military to take their son Bill out of the war because they could not bear to lose another son.

Phil Dittman had served his country with dignity and honor. He will be remembered forever in Wisconsin Rapids by his fearless and positive attitude. Phil's parents said, "He always made the worst situations into good." Memories of Phil Dittman were shared and his service honored at a ceremony at the Wood County Courthouse on May 22nd, 2008.

Written by

Jared Henke, Student East Junior High

Phillip A. Dittman
For most people, September 22nd, 1920 was just an ordinary night, but not for Mr. and Mrs. Herbert P. Dittman. This special night was the night that a new member of the Dittman family, and a hero to our country was born. Phil Dittman came into this world in the town of Sheboygan, Wisconsin and was raised in Wisconsin Rapids where he graduated from Lincoln High School in 1939. Phil is loved and missed by his brothers, Herbert P. Jr, and William Dittman and his sister, Mrs. Joe Nimts.

Phil Dittman contributed a lot to this world throughout his 23 short years. He was very skilled when it came to music and craftsmanship, among many other things. When Phil was young, he worked as a paperboy, and later as a handyman for the Stanton Mead family in both Rapids and the Apostle Islands. Although Phil never married, he had many girlfriends in Rapids and one in Australia. He was loved by many and is remembered for always being patient and tolerant of people and caring deeply for his country.

When Phil was but a mere 19 years of age, he and his brother, William decided they wanted to enlist in the Army. They were in the 32nd division National Guard unit in Rapids, and Phil was in the Field Artillery. Phil's unit got called up to go to Louisiana in October, 1940 and it was not sad when he and his brother left. Instead of being afraid of losing their boys in the war, the Dittman's were excited to have them go. Because World War II had not yet started, being called up was more like a vacation to them than a threat to their lives. Well, as it is seen, it obviously did not turn out as planned.

In April, 1942, the two brothers were stationed in Australia, where they enjoyed many exciting experiences. Phil met a girl named Mavis at a dance, who he got very close to, and they often spent days together on the beach. Phil absolutely loved to surf, and always enjoyed the company of his Australian girlfriend. While they were in Australia, the two brothers wrote many letters home, telling their mother how much they loved her and missed her and owed their lives to her. It was very easy to tell that Mrs. Dittman raised her boys very nicely, and they respected her and loved her a great deal.

After Australia, they were sent to New Guinea to fight in the war. However, while they were in New Guinea, they wrote letters home saying they were still in Australia, so their family wouldn't get upset. Later when the truth came out, Mrs. Dittman was very sad, but Phil explained that he didn't want to worry her more than he already did. It turned out that the two boys' mother had every right in the world to be worried.

When Phil was wounded on August 2nd, 1944, William fought his way through the jungle to reach him. Unfortunately, when he got there, it was too late. The first news that Phil's family had received about his death was a letter written by William, which was received by his parents on August 22, 1944. The tragic letter told how Bill had just visited his late brother's grave and he expressed his deep remorse for the death of his brother. Official news of Phil A. Dittman's death did not reach the family until the next day, August 23rd. Although Phil lived an extremely short life, he was not easily forgotten. His service in World War II earned him a medal, and although it doesn't seem like much when a life is lost, it was something for the family to be extremely proud of. Phil was a great role model to his country, family, and friends and even though his death was heartbreaking, he left a big enough impact in this world that would last way beyond his years.

Written by:

Jackie Gauthier

East Junior High School


News Articles

Dittmann Article
Dittmann Family Thank You
Dittmann Letter Home
Dittmann Notice
Dittmann Posthumous Purple Heart
Dittmann Promotion
Duda Remembers Dittmann


  Honoring Our Wood County War Dead