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First Name: Darrell

Last Name: Lindsey

Birthplace: Jefferson, IA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: U.S. Army Air Forces (1941 - 1947)

Home of Record: Fort Des Moines, IA
Middle Name: Robins

Date of Birth: 30 December 1919

Date of Death: 09 August 1944 (Presumed)

Rank: Captain

Years Served: 1942-1944
Darrell Robins Lindsey

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Darrell Robins Lindsey
Captain, U.S. Army Air Forces
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Captain Darrell Robins Lindsey (30 December 1919 - 9 August 1944) was a U.S. Army Air Forces officer and pilot who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

Darrell Robins Lindsey was born on 30 December 1919 in Jefferson, IA, to Jesse Lyle and Grace Alice Lindsey. After graduating from high school in Fort Dodge in 1938, he attended Buena Vista University in Storm Lake for one year before transferring to Drake University in Des Moines. He enlisted as an aviation cadet at Fort Des Moines on 16 January 1942. He trained at Visalia, Lemoore and Victorville Fields in CA, receiving his pilot's wings and commission as a Second Lieutenant in August 1942.

Lindsey was also trained as a bombardier at Kirtland Field, NM, and in 1943 was assigned to the 314th Bomb Squadron at MacDill Field, FL, with the rank of First Lieutenant. He was transferred to Kellogg Field, MI, in September 1943, and assigned to the 585th Bomb Squadron, 394th Bomb Group (Medium), a B-26 Marauder outfit. Promoted to Captain in December, he was assigned as a flight commander.

As part of the Ninth Air Force, the 394th Bomb Group was deployed to RAF Boreham, England, on 11 March 1944. The 394th immediately participated in the bombing of bridges, airfields and the rail system in France in preparation for the cross-channel invasion. On D-Day, the group attacked gun positions in Cherbourg, then continued to support Allied ground units in Normandy by attacking German lines of communication. In late July, the group changed bases to RAF Holmsley South in preparation for a move to the Continent and, on 7 August 1944, began a three-day campaign against rail and bridge targets in the Île-de-France region of Northern France for which the group as a whole received a Distinguished Unit Citation.

On 9 August, Captain Lindsey, a veteran of 45 combat missions, flew as group leader to destroy the railroad bridge over the Seine River at L'Isle Adam Northwest of Paris. The bridge, one of the last over the Seine still standing, was heavily defended by German anti-aircraft units.

Leading a formation of 30 aircraft, Lindsey's B-26 was heavily damaged and both the right engine and wing set afire during the bombing run. Although knocked out of formation, Lindsey recovered his place and led the group over the target, then stabilized the aircraft so that his crew could parachute. According to the crew's bombardier, Lindsey severely lessened his own chance to escape to prevent the aircraft from spinning, which proved fatal when a fuel tank exploded just after the last crewman exited the aircraft. Captain Lindsey's body was not recovered and he was listed as missing-in-action and presumed killed. For his heroic actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army Air Corps.

Place and date: L'Isle Adam railroad bridge over the Seine in occupied France, 9 August 1944.

Citation: On 9 August 1944, Capt. Lindsey led a formation of 30 B-26 medium bombers in a hazardous mission to destroy the strategic enemy held L'lsle Adam railroad bridge over the Seine in occupied France. With most of the bridges over the Seine destroyed, the heavily fortified L'Isle Adam bridge was of inestimable value to the enemy in moving troops, supplies, and equipment to Paris. Capt. Lindsey was fully aware of the fierce resistance that would be encountered. Shortly after reaching enemy territory the formation was buffeted with heavy and accurate antiaircraft fire. By skillful evasive action, Capt. Lindsey was able to elude much of the enemy flak, but just before entering the bombing run his B-26 was peppered with holes. During the bombing run the enemy fire was even more intense, and Capt. Lindsey's right engine received a direct hit and burst into flames. Despite the fact that his ship was hurled out of formation by the violence of the concussion, Capt. Lindsey brilliantly maneuvered back into the lead position without disrupting the flight. Fully aware that the gasoline tanks might explode at any moment, Capt. Lindsey gallantly elected to continue the perilous bombing run. With fire streaming from his right engine and his right wing half enveloped in flames, he led his formation over the target upon which the bombs were dropped with telling effect. Immediately after the objective was attacked, Capt. Lindsey gave the order for the crew to parachute from the doomed aircraft. With magnificent coolness and superb pilotage, and without regard for his own life, he held the swiftly descending airplane in a steady glide until the members of the crew could jump to safety. With the right wing completely enveloped in flames and an explosion of the gasoline tank imminent, Capt. Lindsey still remained unperturbed. The last man to leave the stricken plane was the bombardier, who offered to lower the wheels so that Capt. Lindsey might escape from the nose. Realizing that this might throw the aircraft into an uncontrollable spin and jeopardize the bombardier's chances to escape, Capt. Lindsey refused the offer. Immediately after the bombardier had bailed out, and before Capt. Lindsey was able to follow, the right gasoline tank exploded. The aircraft sheathed in fire, went into a steep dive and was seen to explode as it crashed. All who are living today from this plane owe their lives to the fact that Capt. Lindsey remained cool and showed supreme courage in this emergency.

Lindsey's Medal of Honor was presented to his widow, Evalyn Scott Lindsey Rhinehart (1919-1992), during a 9 August 1945 ceremony at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Dodge, IA.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart


In November 1946, Lindsey Air Station, Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany, was named in his memory and served as the location of the Headquarters for the United States Air Forces in Europe. The station closed in 1993 and a red granite monument there was returned to Jefferson, IA, and placed on the lawn of the Greene County Courthouse, where it was dedicated to Lindsey on 12 June 1993.

On the following day at Lindsey's alma mater, Buena Vista University, another memorial was dedicated to Lindsey and Ralph Neppel, also a recipient of the Medal of Honor who had attended Buena Vista. The memorial was donated by Judge Charles Pendleton, a BVU alumnus. Judge Pendleton had earlier made a donation in the memory of Evalyn Rhinehart, who had recently died (17 August 1992) in a motor vehicle accident, and the wife of a fellow alumnus, Dr. Bruce L. Rhinehart (1922-2010). Pendleton learned that she had been the widow of Darrell Lindsey, and that Lindsey's monument was being returned from Germany. Together, Pendleton and Rhinehart also began the Lindsey-Neppel Scholarship at Buena Vista in 1993.

Death and Burial

Captain Darrell Robins Lindsey was missing in action and presumed killed on 9 August 1944. His remains were never recovered.

Lindsey's name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial in Neuville-en-Condroz, Liege, Belgium.

A memorial for Lindsey is also located at Jefferson Cemetery in Jefferson, Greene County, IA.

Honoree ID: 1499   Created by: MHOH




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