Last Known Activity
The NARA enlistment record for Darwin J. Carroll states he enlisted on September 16, 1940 at Pullman, Washington. His birth year is listed as 1921. The record states he was enlisted as a private in the infantry and had completed 4 years of high school.
The record confirms other accounts that state he joined the Washington National Guard on September 16, 1940. A report from the Washington National Guard concerning World War II activities lists him as a Private in Company E, 161st Infantry Regiment. This same report has an order that Federalizes the Washington National Guard and places them on active duty as of September 30, 1940 for a period of one year.
Exactly how and when Carroll moved to and graduated from Aviation Cadet School is uncertain, but in October, 1943, he was assigned to the 364th Fighter Squadron of the 357th Fighter Group, listed as a 2nd Lieutenant. The unit trained at Tonopah, NV, and deployed to England, arriving there November 30, 1944.
The 357th Group was operational on February 10, 1944 after receiving flight training in the P-51 aircraft. On the morning of February 22, 1943, Mission #3, led by Group Commanding Officer Colonel Harry Spicer took off for a bomber escort mission to Bernberg. The mission logs state that two friendly aircraft were lost, one of them Lt. Darwin Carroll.
The exact circumstances of his death have never been revealed. MACR 2677 applies, and merely states Lt Carroll is declared MIA.
Evidently, his body was recovered and buried, then later re-interred. He lies in Plot K, Row 19, Grave 9 in Netherlands American Cemetery at Margarten, The Netherlands.
Official records WA ANG, Pamphlet 870-1-6
357th Fighter Group Airctaft Inventory records
NARA enlistment records
2nd Lieutenant was flying his assigned aircraft, P-51B #43-6576 on the day he was shot down.
As stated previously, the 357th FG was flying their third operational mission on that day, so the entire unit was relatively inexperienced. Carroll and another pilot (not named in mission log) were the 5th and 6th pilots from the Group lost in those first three strikes.
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