721st Railway Operating Battalion Clyde Bosworth

Phil sends a great photo of his dad,  Clyde Bosworth (center rear) who served in the 721st ROB

The Military Railway Service Journal Vol11 no6 December 1965

MRSjournal Dec 1965 by cunningb

711th ROB - Remembering Bill Dixon

Remembering Bill Dixon

William J. "Bill" Dixon, age 95, died on February 12, 2014, in Sarasota, Florida, having been preceded in death by his wife, Helen M. Starkey Dixon, formerly of Connecticut.  Bill was born on December 6, 1918, in Pittsburg, PA.  He is survived by his daughter, Angie Dixon, and his granddaughter Amanda Dixon of Washington state.

Bill was an avid railroader from the age of 3 and growing up won a contest which allowed him to meet Mr. Lionel of Lionel Trains.  He developed a quick wit and great sense of humor that served him well both personally and professionally.

Bill graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology(Carnegie Mellon now) in 1940 with a degree in Civil Engineering.  In his spare time, he managed the track team and played piano in a jazz band.  He then spent a year at Yale completing a special transportation program in 1941.

With the completion of his Yale experience came World War ll.  Because of his lifelong love of trains, Bill entered the U.S. Army Military Railway Service where he was commissioned an officer in the 711th Railway Operating Battalion.  Prior to overseas duty, Bill participated in the construction of the Claiborne-Polk Military Railroad in Louisiana.  The 711th was then transferred to the Middle East where he assisted in the operation of the Trans-Iranian Railroad with its mission of supplying material aid to the Soviet Union.  With hostilities winding down, Bill applied and was accepted into a military government program and returned to the States for training at the University of Michigan.  With the completion of his training, he was then sent to South Korea to assist in the rebuilding of that country's rail infrastructure after its destruction from World War II.

After returning to the States, Bill started his civilian career as an assistant transportation inspector for the New Haven Railroad while remaining in the Army Reserve. He stayed with the New Haven Railroad until he joined the B&O in 1948, and in 1950, Bill married Helen M. Starkey.
While at the B&O, Bill gained experience in a succession of duties that included Engineering, Operations, and the Methods and Research Group until
1961 when Jervis Langdon became the President of the B&O.  With the arrival of Langdon and his revolutionary ideas, Bill was tapped by Langdon to establish and lead the Industrial Engineering Department as its General Manager in 1962.  During this time, he became Jervis Langdon's unofficial chief-of-staff and sounding board which carried through with their relationship at the Rock Island and Penn Central Railroads.  As a tribute to Bill's leadership and mentoring style, staff from his department went on to positions of responsibility with the newly formed CSX as well as with other railroads.

With the exception of the Korean War when he left for two years to serve as a Captain in the U. S. Army Transportation and Development Command, Bill would stay at the B&O until 1965 when his mentor, Jervis Langdon, brought him to the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad as Director of Industrial Engineering.  In 1967, he became Assistant to President Langdon, eventually becoming a Senior Vice-President and the eventual successor to Langdon in 1970. Bill served as President of the Rock Island from 1970 to 1974.  From the Rock Island, Bill followed Jervis Langdon to the Penn Central in 1974, where he became Vice-President of Staff and ultimately concluded a long and distinguished career proving him to be a forward thinker making many contributions to the rail industry and his country.

During his lifetime, Bill received numerous awards and recognition, among them Yale's Lifetime Service Award.  Upon retirement, Bill and his wife moved to Sarasota, Florida, where he actively participated in many organizations.  Among these were the Army Museum and the Suncoast Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society where he was active up to the time of his death.

Donations in memory of Bill Dixon may be made to the Suncoast Chapter, NRHS, PO Box 15828, Sarasota, FL 34277.

Thanks to Tim for sending this !

Central Headlight Railroad Magazine January 1945

Headlight 0145 by Nancy

721st Railway Operating Battalion Phillip Theander

Thanks to his son, Joseph M

721st theander by Nancy

Railroads in defense and war, : a bibliography 1953

Lyon France Rail yards 1944