Friday, January 08, 2021

In Memoriam: Joseph Armstead Diblin

Joseph Armstead Diblin
July 20, 1917 - January 7, 2021

It is with profound sadness to report the death of World War II veteran, longtime aviator, and avid writer/storyteller, Joseph Armstead Diblin, age 103. He died peacefully at Nottingham Village, Northumberland on January 7, 2021.

Joe was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on July 20, 1917, and grew up in Hightstown, New Jersey, where his passion for flight was born. While in high school, he worked odd jobs at a local airport in exchange for flight lessons. Joe was also a sports enthusiast and accepted a basketball scholarship to Bucknell University in 1936. After graduating in 1940 with a degree in journalism and education, Joe enlisted in the the US Army Air Corps and during World War II, became a chief flight instructor for 4 engine bomber pilots, especially for the B-24 Liberator. As a 2nd LT, Joe trained hundreds of pilots to fly and has been lauded for his efforts on numerous occasions.

Following World War II, Joe signed up with Piper Lycoming Aircraft Engines out of Williamsport and spent several decades as a test pilot, instructor and engine troubleshooter. He retired in 1980 and pursued his passion for writing articles and short stories about flying, World War II, and its veterans. Joe felt that "Every vet has a story and it should be told". His storytelling was legendary. Joe's personal story is preserved digitally in the Veterans Historical Project at the Library of Congress and is available online.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, George and Sarah; and two younger brothers, Donald and Eugene, who died while serving their country during World War II. Preceding him also was his first wife, Maryjane Aumiller and their son Charles "Chuck", and his wife of 31 years, Barbara Jones who passed in 2008 leaving three daughters, Lynn, Susan and Kathy and their families.

Burial will be limited to immediate family due to COVID protocol and restrictions.

In lieu of flowers, consider a memorial gift to a veteran's organization of your choosing or to Bucknell University Gift Processing, 1 Dent Dr., Lewisburg, PA 17837.

Arrangements are by the John H. Shaw III Funeral Home, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania 

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