A Soldier's Story: Brigadier General James Leo Dalton II

Brigadier General James Leo Dalton II was born on January 20, 1910, in New Britain, Connecticut.  He was raised in Naugatuck, playing football and running track for Naugatuck High School.

After his high school graduation in 1927, Brigadier General James Dalton entered the Military Academy at West Point in 1929 and graduated in 1933.

Initially,  with the Calvary, General James Leo Dalton received a spinal injury while playing polo. After a lengthy hospital stay, he was reassigned to the infantry.

Assigned to the 161st Rifle Regiment, he was posted at Pearl Harbor during the attack in 1941 and the entry of the US into World War II. In 1943, after the 161st was deployed to Guadalcanal, Brigadier General James Dalton received the command for the 161st and led the regiment through the New Georgia Island campaign.

During the Battle of Luzon, Brigadier General James Leo Dalton was reassigned to the 25th Infantry Division as the assistant commander. He was killed in action during the Battle of Balete Pass on May 16, 1945.  He had been promoted to Brigadier General only one month before his death.  Balete Pass was renamed Dalton Pass in his honor.   This highly decorated soldier rests in the American Cemetery and Memorial in Manilla.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

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