S/Sgt W Dillaway

Cambridge District Scout Archive

William Dillaway of Massachusetts was an American service man who died on January 7th 1945.  He is buried in the American Cemetery in Madingley, near Cambridge.

S/Sgt Dillaway, No 31164030, was an Eagle Scout and in 1946 his twin brother C W Dillaway Jr. contacted Cambridge District requesting that they that flowers be laid on his grave in the American Military Cemetery on May 30th (the American Remembrance Day). This was done by Rovers of the 60th and recorded as being repeated the following two years.

1947    The DC reported that the 60th Cambridge (Leys school) would arrange a wreath to be laid on the American Grave in accordance with the request made last year by an American Scout.

In July 1948 the event was recorded in The Scouter.  60th Cambridge reported laying flowers at the grave of S/Sgt William Dillaway, Eagle Scout who ‘represents a 100 other US Scouts buried there’.         This is possibly a misreading for ‘hundreds’ and is rendered as ‘about a hundred’ in the Leys School magazine.  This is probably a significant underestimate; the cemetery holds 3811 burials and a further 5127 names are commemorated on the walls.

It is not known when this practice stopped.  The 60th finally closed in 1979 but had probably been inactive from several years before that date. The practice was restared in 2019 by members of the 28th Cambrige Scout Group; for William, for all the Scouts and all the dead memorialised there.

The American Cemetery does not record details of which of the interred and memorialized were Scouts.  His grave is C – 5 – 44, that is

  • Circle C , the third circle out from the flag pole,
  • Row 5 in that circle                 (labeled 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Grave 44th of that row.           (the number 44 is at the base of the cross)

It stands slightly down hill from a tree halfway along Circle C. The Inscription reads 14th Sq 61 Trp Carr Gp, that is the 14th Squadron 61 Troop Carrier Group.

The Scouts of Cambridge Massachusetts had made connections with the Scouts of Cambridge England to offer support during the war. See ‘Trans Atlantic Support 1942’

From the Boston Globe

From the Newton Graphic

Word has been received from the War Department this week by Mrs Helen Dillaway of 25 Endicott Street, Newton Heights that her son S-Sgt William Dillaway was killed in England last week.

S-Sgt Dillaway has been with the 9th Air Force for two and a half years taking part in the African, Sicilian and Normandy campaigns.  He has been decorated with the Presidential Citation and the Air Medal.

S-Sgt Dillaway has a long honorable record as a Scout and Scout Leader of the Norumbega Council, Boy Scouts of America.  As a boy he was a member of Troop 4 of Newton Highlands and held every office in that troop, until he finally received the highest rank in Scouting- Eagle Scout.  He served as Scoutmaster with one of the Newton Troops and spent much time at the Nobscot Reservation  He was a member of the Leif Erickson Rover Crew and attended the International Boy scout Jamboree at Birkenhead England.

He carried his enthusiasm for the Movement whenever he travelled.  While in Hartford, Conn., he was active in Scouting and during his military career he found time to work with boys and demonstrate American Boy Scouting in Africa, Sicily and Europe.

S-Sgt Dillaway was beloved by all boys who received his enthusiasm – a striking testimony of this was evident last Christmas when he received 60 packages during the festive season – sent to him in Europe by former Scouts and, Scout families in Newton.

In addition to his mother, Sgt Dillaway is survived by his sister, Clara, and a twin brother Sgt C W Dillaway, a former professional executive in Scouting.

As supplied by the American Cemetery, Cambridge

61st Troop Carrier Group 

The 61st Troop Carrier Group was a C-47 Skytrain transport unit active in North Africa, Italy and Western Europe. The 61 TCG was highly decorated for its combat parachute infantry drops during the Invasions of Sicily, Italy and France; the airborne invasion of the Netherlands and the airborne crossing of the Rhine.

JWR Archivist June 2019