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USC Lancaster to Honor
World War II Hero, Lt. Bill Farrow

Lt. Bill Farrow: Doolittle RaiderShari Eliades, Head Librarian at the Medford Library at USC Lancaster, announced today that historian and author, Dr. John Griffin, has been invited to speak in the library atrium on Thursday evening, March 1, at 7:00 pm.

The topic of Griffin’s discussion will be the exciting yet tragic story of Lt. Bill Farrow, a native of Darlington, S. C. and a Doolittle Raider who bombed Tokyo on April 18, 1942. The following day the Japanese captured Farrow and his crew, then executed them six months later.

Griffin’s book, Lt. Bill Farrow: Doolittle Raider, is a comprehensive biography of Bill Farrow from his birth in Darlington in 1918 until his tragic and untimely death at the hands of a Japanese firing squad in 1942.

“He was a typical young Southern boy,” says Griffin. “Yet he was far more than just typical. He came from a broken family and he and his mother had an apartment in the McFall Hotel in Darlington, which she managed. He became an Eagle Scout in 1934, then graduated with honors from St. John’s High School in 1935. The Depression was in full swing and young Bill was unable to find a job, so he spent a couple of years with the CCC Boys in Liberty, S.C. But he saved his money and was able to enroll at the University of South Carolina in 1938, which was a dream come true. In 1939, because of his outstanding record, he was one of three USC students chosen by the Federal Government to receive pilot training at government expense. He completed the course in 1940 and soon thereafter joined the U. S. Air Corps. He received his silver pilot’s wings on July 11, 1941, and was assigned to fly a B-25 medium bomber, the plane Gen. Jimmy Doolittle would later choose to bomb Tokyo. At that point, his fate was sealed.”

Dr. Griffin holds the honorary title Distinguished Professor Emeritus with the University of South Carolina Lancaster, and several years ago Governor Jim Hodges named him to the Order of the Silver Crescent. He has now published fifteen books. His 1996 biography of Thomas Wolfe won the History Book of the Year Award from the North Carolina Historical Society, and his 2001 biography of noted black author Jean Toomer won the Adele Mellen Award. He and his family make their home in Lancaster.

“I would like to point out that Gen. Charles Duke", says Griffin, "wrote that 'It’s a very inspirational work, just the sort of thing our young people should be reading.' ”

For further information, call Shari Eliades at 803-313-7062 or John Griffin at 803-313-7043.

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