Retired Aug. 1, 1969. Died Nov. 20, 1988.
Major General Don Orville Darrow is chief of staff, Tactical Air Command.
General Darrow was born in Tacoma, Wash., in 1908. He graduated from Summer High School, in Tacoma, in 1926 and later entered the College of Puget Sound. In 1932, he graduated from Oregon State College with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering.
He entered the service in June 1932 and graduated from the Air Corps flying school at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas, in 1933. General Darrow's first assignment was as pursuit pilot and squadron communications officer at March Field, Calif. Assigned to the 95th Pursuit Squadron, General Darrow flew such early fighter aircraft as the Boeing P-12 and the Boeing P-26. During his assignment to the base he received instrument landing training at Wright Field, Ohio, and was designated instrument landing instructor for March Field. In 1940 he was assigned to the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron to fly the four-engine Boeing YB-17, America's first heavy bomber.
In May of 1941, as squadron operations officer for the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron, General Darrow was an aircraft commander on the first massed flight of B-17s from the mainland to Hickam Field, Hawaii. For this he received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
At the outbreak of World War II General Darrow was assigned as assistant operations officer for Headquarters Fourth Air Force located at Hamilton Field, Calif. Promoted to the rank of colonel on July 2, 1943, he later became director of operations for Fourth Air Force.
In 1944 General Darrow was assigned as deputy director of the Air Evaluation Board for the Southwest Pacific and served in Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines. During this period General Darrow directed the evaluation and recording of the effectiveness of air warfare in the area, thereby aiding in the forming of air tactics and strategy.
Following World War II General Darrow was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a year as an Air Force member of the Joint War Plans Committee. After two years with Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the War Plans Division he attended the National War College, graduating in 1950. He was then assigned as director of plans for the Far East Air Forces.
General Darrow was named senior staff officer and adviser to the Air Force delegate of the United Nations Armistice Delegation at the beginning of the Korean Armistice negotiation. He served with the armistice delegation for 13 months and negotiated the fina1 wording of the Korean Armistice document with the Korean and Chinese officers.
For his varied service in the Far East, General Darrow was awarded the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters.
Upon completion of the negotiations General Darrow returned to the United States and was assigned as deputy chief of staff for materiel of the Military Air Transport Service, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in August 1953.
He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general Oct. 9, 1953.
After four years directing the materiel function for MATS, General Darrow was named deputy commander of the Pacific Division of MATS, at Parks Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 20, 1957.
He was promoted to the rank of major general March 10, 1958, and July 1, 1958, he became the deputy commander of the Western Transport Air Force, MATS, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
Two months later he transferred to Fontainebleau, France, where he became the deputy for operations for the Allied Air Force, Central Europe. After three years with the NATO command he returned to the United States to become deputy for materiel for Tactical Air Command, at Langley Air Force Base, Va.
In June 1962 General Darrow was assigned as Deputy for Plans at TAC Headquarters. During that month he was selected by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be chairman of the Joint Task Group to review tactical air reconnaissance and aerial battlefield surveillance for all the services. During the autumn of 1962 he supervised the planning for the Air Force, Atlantic, during the Cuban crisis.
On Aug. 14, 1964, he became commander of the Nineteenth Air Force, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
On Sept. 1, 1966, General Darrow was assigned as commander, Ninth Air Force. He became chief of staff, Tactical Air Command in May 1968.
The General's decorations include the Legion of Merit with four oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.