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