Manuscript Collection

Richard Dinning Collection - Accession 1470 - M715 (771)

Richard Dinning Collection - Accession 1470 - M715 (771)


Download WWII Mission Flown by Captain Richard Dinning 1944-1945 (608 KB)

Download WWII Recollections by B-17 Bomber Pilot Captain Richard Dinning (7.0 MB)


Accession 1470 M715 (771)-

Inclusive Dates



Open under the rules and regulations of the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections

Collection Size

150 pieces



Historical Note

Captain Richard Dinning (1922-2022) was a combat pilot and WWII veteran who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Capt. Dinning flew a B-17 Bomber with the 351st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force on 33 missions over Germany from 1944 to 1945. Before his stint in the war his Army Air Corp training brought him to Winthrop College. In 1943 the U. S. Army established the 41st College Training Detachment at Winthrop College to train young men for assignments in the Army Air Corps. These young men took classes at Winthrop, lived in “Fort Bancroft” [Bancroft Hall] and completed flight training at Roddey Field located just south of the city of Rock Hill off of SC Highway 72. Richard Dinning was one of the young men who arrived at Winthrop, which was an all-female institution at the time, and stayed for nine weeks in the Spring of 1943.

Scope and Content Note

The Richard Dinning Collection consists of photocopies of reminiscences, letters, and photographs relating to Richard Dinning’s (1922-2022) Army Air Corp training while stationed at Winthrop (1943) and his experiences as a combat pilot during World War II. The letters consist of correspondence Richard Dinning sent home to his parents and sister during his time as a cadet at Winthrop College in 1943. The photographs are of Capt. Dinning while a cadet at Winthrop, during WWII, and after the war. There is an untitled reminisce by Richard Dinning of his experiences in WWII as a B-17 pilot on 33 missions over Germany from 1944 to 1945. The chapters are titled, “Introduction-Fifty Years Later,” “That Frightening Realization,” “Know Your Crew,” “The Group Commander’s White Line,” “Pre-Dawn Assemblies,” “Pee Stories,” “Helpful Valley,” “Damn The Press,” “Merry Christmas,” “A Goof Up?,” “How Cold Did It Get,” and “Little Friend.” Another reminisce titled, “Random Recollections: Two 2012 Recollections Which Deserve To Be Added To The Prior Random Recollections,” by Richard Dinning discusses his trip to Winthrop University in 2012 to visit the campus and participate in an oral history interview (OH-309) and the events that led to the trip. A third remembrance discusses his 90th birthday celebration in 2012 with family and friends. Also, included is a list of all the 33 missions Captain Dinning flew from October 2, 1944 through May 10, 1945.


The Richard Dinning Collection were given to the Archives on October 23, 2013 by Richard Dinning.


For information concerning copyright please contact the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections at Winthrop University.

Richard Dinning Collection - Accession 1470 - M715 (771)

LC Subject Headings

Dinning, Richard, 1922-2022--Archives; Winthrop College, the South Carolina College for Women--History; Winthrop University; United States. Army. Air Corps; United States. Army. Air Corps cadets; Military cadets--Training of--History--20th century; Military cadets--Training of--South Carolina--History--20th century; World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives; Air pilots, Military--Training of--South Carolina--History--20th century; Flight training--South Carolina--History--20th century; B-17 bomber; World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans--Interviews