'He gave his life’: Popular Myrtle Beach road named after WWII hero from Darlington

Updated: Nov. 11, 2020 at 11:06 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Thousands of people drive on Farrow Parkway in Myrtle Beach every day, but many may not know that it’s named after a war hero from Darlington.

Darlington County Historian Brian Gandy fills the Darlington County Historical Commission and Museum with artifacts from Darlington’s larger-than-life people.

One of those people is Lt. William Farrow, who left his mark on U.S. history during World War II.

“He was pilot for the number 16 plane that took off the USS Hornet as part of a retaliatory attack against the Japanese after Pearl Harbor," said Gandy.

That attack in 1942 would go on to be known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raid.

It was the first attack against mainland Japan in World War II, where the 16 pilots dropped bombs over Japan’s largest city.

“For us to have a local guy on there, knowing it was a suicide mission from the start, is phenomenal," said Gandy. "For it to be Billy Farrow in particular, is astronomical.”

Farrow and his crew ran out of fuel in China and were captured, tortured and executed by the Japanese.

Farrow was just 24 years old.

“He gave the most significant contribution that any human can give in military service," said Gandy. "He gave his life.”

Farrow earned a Purple Heart, Presidential Citation, an induction in the South Carolina Hall of Fame, and of course, Farrow Parkway named after him.

For Gandy, Farrow’s story is an inspiration and a reminder of what Veteran’s Day is all about.

“It’s just not about the folks like Billy Farrow, it’s about all veterans and the contributions they make, and I think if there’s one thing that Billy Farrow had, he had the opportunity to remind us, it’d be to thank every one of those veterans," said Gandy. "It’s because of their service we are able to enjoy the liberties we enjoy.”

Farrow’s ashes are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

He was inducted into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame in 2006.

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