Tuesday 27 August 2013

Great-Grandad and John Dillinger’s Cuff Links

L-R: Col. Dave Dodenhoff, Col. Melvin Purvis, Lt. Col. James D. McCullough, and Maj. Plat Wimbaly
Recently, my aunt sent me a copy of a photograph of my great-grandfather, James McCullough. The photo was taken in Oran, Algeria, when Jim was serving as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the US Army Supply Corp.

Jim is the second from the right. The smaller man, on his right (second from the left) is Col. Melvin Purvis. Jim and Melvin had been friends since long before the war, when they both had attended Law School at the University of South Carolina (hence the newspaper in the photo).

After Law School, Melvin Purvis joined the FBI and was eventually placed in charge of the Chicago branch, at a time when Chicago seemed overrun with gangsters. It was Purvis who led the manhunts that eventually killed Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, and John Dillinger.

According to a note attached to the back of the original photograph, Melvin Purvis game Jim the cuff-links that John Dillinger was wearing on the night he was gunned down. 

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