||JOHN EDWARD DARLING JR.
First Lieutenant John Edward Darling Jr. Was born in Fremont, Michigan on
17th. of October 1946. He attended the Fremont Schools and graduated from Fremont
high School in 1964. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant from the
United States Military Academy, West Point, New York on the 5th. of June 1968. Soon
after graduating from the Military Academy, Lieutenant Darling attended Ranger School
at Fort Benning, Georgia. He then attended the Signal Officers Basic Course at Fort
Gordon, Georgia. Then the Student Officer Communications Course at Fort Sill,
Oklahoma. Last he attended Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia.
In December of 1968, Lieutenant Darling was married to Cathy Butler of
Fremont, at Fremont, Michigan. Soon after the wedding the new couple left for North
Carolina, Lieutenant Darling's first assignment was a member of the 82nd. Airborne
Division, Fort Bragg, North Caroline. He was there only briefly, soon called to the war in
Vietnam. On the 1st. of April 1970, as the Communication Officer for the 2nd. Battalion
(Airmobile) 506th. Infantry, 101st. Airborne Division, Republic of Vietnam.
Lieutenant Darling was present during a combat assault on an abandoned Fire Support
Base Ripcord. The fire base came under intense hostile mortar fire and his Battalion's
Tactical Operations Center received a direct hit, wounding the Executive Officer and
several other men. Lieutenant Darling immediately assumed command, then
administered first aid to casualties. Braving the impacting rounds, he carried a wounded
man to the medical evacuation helicopter, then returned to the command post to direct
armed helicopter support of the Extraction Operation. For his gallantry, he was awarded
the Silver Star.
Less than two months later, on the 18th. of May 1970. First Lieutenant Darling was killed
in action. He died a hero's death when, on the eve of his rest and relaxation leave, his
helicopter was shot down as he voluntarily returned to Fire Base that was under attack.
First Lieutenant Darling's numerous awards include the Silver Star, Bronze star,
Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam
Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.
On the 8th. of June 1994 the U. S. Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon
Dedicated the new "Darling Soldier Service Center" named in memory of Lieutenant
John E. Darling Jr. The Building called "Darling Hall" consists of 107,150 gross square
feet was constructed at a cost of approximately $7,652,000. The building consists of
three stories. It is a high tech general purpose office building. Military, Civilian Service
and Non-appropriated Fund personnel will be in processed and out processed through this
building, and a variety of services will be available in this building for those personnel
throughout their period of service at Fort Gordon.
At this dedication Major General Robert E. Gray, Commanding General of Fort
Gordon presented the Army's Silver Order of Mercury Award on behalf of her late
husband, 1st. Lt. John Edward Darling Jr. To Cathy Darling Heuser.
1st. Lieutenant John Edward Darling's picture, awards and medals are hanging on
the wall of the Darling Hall, Fort Gordon, Georgia. This building will be a lasting tribute
to Lt. Darling and serve others who share in his dedication to the United State of