Memorial Names

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256

MARION E CARL

MAJ.GENERAL

USMC

HOME : HUBBARD, OR

Plaque : Wall 3, Row A, Col 4

Major General Marion E. Carl, the Marine Corps first air ace who downed 11 enemy aircraft during the battle for Guadalcanal, was twice awarded the Navy Cross , and who finished World War II with 18 kills to his credit , retired June 1 ,1973 completing over 34 years of military service. Major General Carl is also widely known for his past WWW II aviation records he established. Born November 1, 1915, in Hubbard, Oregon, he graduated with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State College in 1938. A member of the ROTC unit while attending college, he resigned an Army Reserve commission to accept appointment as a Marine aviation cadet in August 1938, and was designated a Naval Aviator with the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps on December 1, 1939. As a Section Leader in a Marine fighter squadron during the Battle of Midway, he earned the Navy Cross while leading an attack against a vastly superior force of Japanese fighter and bomber airplanes. He shot down two aircraft during the battle, and was one of only two Marine pilots that survived the engagement. Later in the battle for Guadalcanal, where he shot down an additional 11 enemy planes, he earned a second Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism, and became the first Marine Corps ace on August 26,1947 In an aerial fight off, the coast of Guadalcanal, Carl had to hail out of his shot-up aircraft, and was losing the baffle to swim ashore against the tide, when he was picked up by friendly natives in a canoe. After five days with the natives, he finally made his way back to his base. He returned to the united Stated on October 21, 1942 his exploits during World War II made him so famous that he was put on a War Bond tour where he met and married Edna Kirvin, a New York Powers model, and their honeymoon was covered by Life magazine. In May 1943 he was promoted to Major. In July 1943, Carl left San Francisco on his second tour of overseas duty, which took him through Hawaii to New Hebrides, Vella Lavella in the Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal, and Emirau. In November 1944 , he returned from the Pacific area, having earned a total of three Distinguished Flying Crosses and Thirteen Air Medals. Following his return to the United States, he was assigned duty with the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland. It was on V-J Day, August 14, 1945, that he received his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. As a test pilot assigned to the Naval Air Test Center, he became the first Marine to land and be catapulted off of an aircraft carrier in an F80 Shooting Star Jet aircraft. He also became the Marine Corps first helicopter pilot, and earned a fourth Distinguished Flying Cross for setting a worlds speed record in a Douglas Skystreak in 1947. He later commanded the Marine Corps first jet fighter unit, VMF122, at Cherry Point. North Carolina. He also formed the first Marine Jet Aerobatic Team.

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POW

KIA

MIA

Medals

Theatre of Operation

WWII/KOREA/VIETNAM